Malajila double sinks Usuthu

After a goalless first half, the Brazilians scored two goals in six minutes through Cuthbert Malajila to perfectly bounce back from the midweek drubbing by Orlando Pirates.

Pitso Mosimane made three changes to the side, with Thabo Nthethe, Malajila and Kuda Mahachi coming in.

Usuthu entered the clash rock-bottom and it was no surprise that Craig Rosslee also rang the changes – four in all as Willem Mwedihanga, Sifiso Hlanti, John Arwuah and Ayanda Dlamini started.

The visitors started brightly and Kennedy Mweene had to be sharp to save Goodman Dlamini’s effort just two minutes in.

They were even closer on 23 minutes when Sadate Ouro-Akoriko rattled the woodwork with a powerful header from a free-kick.

Sundowns finally hit their stride and looked to have scored when Surprise Moriri got on the end of a corner-kick, but Nhlanhla Shabalala did brilliantly to clear his header off the goalline.

Mario Booysen had a header go wide before a Hlompho Kekana pile-driver was turned around the post, but the goal did eventually come on the hour-mark when Malajila rose well to head Tebogo Langerman’s pin-point cross in at the near-post.

The Zimbabwean international had his second six minutes later, heading in from close-range after a sublime outside-of-the-foot cross from Moriri.

And Malajila will be kicking himself for missing his hat-trick when he fired wide from six yards out with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Ejike Uzoenyi came on late for his Sundowns debut and showed flashes of brilliance, but in the end they settled for a 2-0 win which them back into the top eight.