Rampant Downs reclaim top spot

Premiership

Mamelodi Sundowns returned to the top of the DStv Premiership standings with a 3-0 drubbing over Stellenbosch FC on Saturday evening.

Sundowns, who commemorated the passing of former player Anele Ngcongca, welcomed back Denis Onyango between the sticks while Hlompho Kekana was named on the bench once again.

Masandawana hit the front with five minutes gone when Peter Shalulile leaped ahead of two challenges at the back-post to head in a cross from the right-side by strike-partner Kermit Erasmus.

Stellies struggled to get a look in as Lebohang Maboe unleashed a stupendous drive from outside the area minutes later, but Lee Langeveldt responded with a stern save.

Erasmus reserved the roles on the 26th minute as he popped up inside the centre of the area to nestle the bottom corner with a left-footed shot after a pass from Shalulile.

Stellies had a chance to pull a goal back seven minutes before halftime from a ball on the right, but a snap shot from Leletu Skelem failed to trouble Onyango.

As the second half commenced, Sundowns were under a bit of pressure from the away side who kept Ricardo Nascimento and co on guard through bustling striker Junior Mendieta.

A tussle outside the area led to Sundowns’ third goal on 66 minutes as Maboe played in Erasmus, who then crossed for Themba Zwane to rifle home from an impossible angle to miss.

This led to Sundowns coaching staff to introduce fresh faces from the substitutes’ bench, with Lesedi Kapinga replacing Erasmus while Tebogo Langerman was thrown on for Lyle Lakay.

Stanley Dimgba should’ve had Stellies on board from a surging ball before fulltime but Onyango parried, while consecutive saves from Langeveldt kept out Haashim Domingo and Rivaldo Coetzee at the other end.

That brought the encounter to a close, leaving Masandawana to return to the top of the table ahead of Swallows FC.

Confirmed line-ups:

Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Lakay, Nascimento, Madisha,  Jali, Coetzee, Maboe, Erasmus, Zwane, Shalulile.

Subs: Mweene, Mudau, Lebusa, Kapinga, Kekana, Langerman, Domingo, Modiba, Makgalwa.

Stellenbosch: Langeveldt,  Macheke,  Van Heerden, Johannes,  Robertson, Nange, Sinkala, Van Rooyen, Mendieta, Skelem, Khunyedi.

Subs: Stephens, Mthethwa, Scott, Mbekile, Moon, Dimgba, Msengi, Avontuur

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