Leaders Downs restore four-point lead

Premiership

Mamelodi Sundowns restored their four-point lead at the top of the DStv Premiership table with a 1-0 victory over Golden Arrows on Wednesday afternoon.

Sundowns named Brazilian-born defender Ricardo Nascimento on the bench for the first time this season, whereas Arrows were unchanged from the win over Marumo Gallants FC.

The host made the earlier promise from a well-weighted corner-kick seven minutes in, but Nkosinathi Sibisi was only able to find the side-netting from an awkward angle.

Another smart opportunity went the way of Abafana Besthende later on through Pule Mmodi’s run in from the right-side but the subsequent shot flew wide of the bottom-corner.

Sundowns enjoyed no cool-off from the host who midway through the first half saw Velemseni Ndwandwe head Mthokozisi Dube’s pin-point cross inches wide.

The Brazilians started to open up nearer to halftime and could’ve been ahead from a loose ball around the area, but Thabiso Kutumela failed to beat Maximilian Mbaeva.

Masandawana came out firing at the start of second half with Gaston Sirino seeing a shot outside the area after retrieving possession go over the top.

Sirino amended the missed chance 12 minutes later through a low finish from close-range following a back-heel pass by Andile Jali, while Andile Fikizolo made his second debut for Arrows.

Abafana Besthende pushed the visitors in the closing exchanges and got a chance to go level from the penalty spot, but Michel Gumede missed as Khuliso Mudau committed a foul.

Masandawana maintained the latter minutes and could’ve added to their lead but Haashim Domingo scuppered Peter Shalulile’s layoff, with Nascimento instituted whilst 1-0 it concluded.

Confirmed line-ups:

Arrows: Mbaeva, Zuke, Sibisi, Dlamini, Mutizwa, M.Dube, Cele, Mbhele, Mmodi, Ndwandwe, Magubane

Subs: Gumede, Mantshiyane, Sibiya, Ndlovu, L.Dube, Magawana, Khumalo, M.Gumede, Fikizolo

Sundowns: D. Onyango, Modiba, Mudau, B. Onyango, Lebusa, Jali, Sirino, Domingo, Kutumela, Vilakazi, Shalulile

Subs: Goss, Safranko, Lakay, Nascimento, Mkhulise, Maluleka, Maema, Kapinga, Morena

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