Home Sport Another league title looms for Sundowns after win over 10-man TS Galaxy

Another league title looms for Sundowns after win over 10-man TS Galaxy

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Champions Mamelodi Sundowns edged closer to another league title after beating 10-man TS Galaxy in Mbombela on Wednesday night.

Haashim Domingo of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates after scoring the second goal during their DStv Premiership match against TS Galaxy at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on Wednesday
Haashim Domingo of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates after scoring the second goal during their DStv Premiership match against TS Galaxy at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on Wednesday. Picture: Dirk Kotze, BackpagePix

Champions Mamelodi Sundowns edged closer to another league title after beating 10-man TS Galaxy in Mbombela on Wednesday night.

Johannesburg – Mamelodi Sundowns are edging closer and closer to winning a record fifth title in a row after they surpassed the 50-point mark following their 3-0 win over TS Galaxy in a DStv Premiership match at Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday night.

With this win, the Brazilians reached 51 points in the league, extending their lead to 18 points ahead of the second-placed Royal AM. It was an important victory that came after a historic weekend in the CAF Champions League as well.

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On Saturday, the Brazilians became the first side to beat African champions Al Ahly in their own backyard since 2016. The victory was sweeter that it came against their ex-coach Pitso Mosimane who is yet to win in the group stage so far.

Peter Shalulile’s goal drought also ended tonight. The Namibian scored the third goal with a tap-in from close-range. That was his second contribution after assisting Khuliso Mudau for the opener. He assisted against Al Ahly as well.

Fresh from that win over Al Ahly, Downs wanted to continue with the winning momentum in the league. But that wasn’t going to be easy, given that Galaxy were also high on confidence after bagging four points from a possible six pointer.

This game was also going to test Sundowns’ depth and character after they made as many as four changes to the team that defeated Al Ahly. But all eyes were going to be on Kennedy Mweene who was exceptional in goals at the Al Saalam.

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Mweene survived an early scare after Brian Onyango made a hospital pass that Augustine Kwem nearly intercepted. But he was quick to come off his line to make the block as he sustained an injury that was treated by the medical team.

Downs adopted an offensive approach, looking to make inroads into Galaxy’s final third. However, their finishing let them down as they rarely threatened the posts of Westen van der Linde who was only starting for the third time this season.

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Van der Linde was replacing Melusi Buthelezi who was stabbed on Sunday during an attempted hijacking ordeal. But had nothing to do until the 20th minute mark where he picked up the ball from the net after Mudau’s wonder strike.

Ethan Brooks lost the ball to Peter Shalulile outside his box. The latter thought of taking a shot but he set-up a well-positioned Mudau instead. Mudau didn’t need a second invite as he unleashed a thunderbolt that flew right into the top corner.

With a goal down, the hosts were a man down after the 21-minute mark after Lindokuhle Mbatha received a second booking for an illegal tackle on Shalulile at the centre-line, while Brooks, from thereon, made way for striker Aphelele Teto.

Onyango was having a nightmarish first half as he nearly scored an own goal with another backpass. But he was lucky in the end as the shot sailed for a corner-kick. The two teams continued to hang on as Downs went to half with the lead.

After the restart, Teto, who was a bright prospect from the reserve team, nearly opened his account but his curler, after nicely turning on the edge of the box, sailed wide off target – although he had the attention of the goalie Mweene.

Haashim Domingo was unfortunate not to put his name on the scoresheet by the half-an-hour mark. He put his close-range hard and low effort wide off target but his diving goal-bound effort was blocked off the line by Siphiwe Mahlangu.

However, Domingo found his goal. And boy, it was special! Teboho Mokoena found Domingo in Galaxy’s final third and the latter took a few yards towards goal before unleashing a screamer that flew right into the top corner of the net.

@Mihlalibaleka

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