Mamelodi Sundowns fluffed an opportunity to close the gap between themselves and log leaders Kaizer Chiefs
MAMELODI Sundowns fluffed an opportunity to close the gap between themselves and log leaders Kaizer Chiefs when they succumbed to a 3-2 defeat against Golden Arrows in an Absa Premiership thriller yesterday.
Abafana Bes’thende kept their current unbeaten run intact while Sundowns failed to reduce the deficit between themselves and the Amakhosi at the summit of the table.
The defending champions are 10 points behind Chiefs.
The Chloorkop side are now three games without a victory and they have a mountain to climb to catch Chiefs. It is still early in the season but Amakhosi are playing with fluidity and winning games, and the hunger from Amakhosi is evident, while Sundowns are struggling for consistency.
They’ve got the Fifa break coming up where they can fix their problems and, hopefully, come back stronger.
It was always going to be difficult for Sundowns away from home with Abafana Bes’thende having the ability to dominate sides when they come to visit.
Sundowns thought everything was going their way when they broke the deadlock at a critical stage of the game. Thapelo Morena profited from an exquisite cross from Tebogo Langerman on the left four minutes before the interval.
Morena finished with aplomb to beat Edmore Sibande between the sticks for Arrows as they were caught flat-footed at the back. Abafana Bes’thende, for their part, fluffed a number of chances in the first half. The misfiring Knox Mutizwa being the main culprit.
Ntsoako Makhubela was orchestrating things in the middle of the park for Abafana Bes’thende, making all sorts of things happen for Arrows. His silky skills and deft touches were troubling Sundowns, an early sign of things to come.
The hosts restored parity 61 minutes into the game when Denis Onyango committed a blunder to allow Arrows back on to level terms. Danny Phiri tested the Ugandan from distance and Onyango failed to handle the ball.
To be fair, the surface was wet and that goal may have been as a result of the conditions.
Mutizwa went from zero to hero in the 72nd minute when he showed great composure in the box to beat Onyango. It was a goal that was made in Zimbabwe with Divine Lunga combining with Mutizwa.
The Zimbabwean talisman completed his brace in the 80th minute from the penalty spot. Brandon Patusnath was brought down in the box by Modjeka Madisha and Abongile Tom penalised the defending champions. Mutizwa rattled the net with a well-taken penalty.
Andile Jali gave Sundowns a glimmer of hope in the last two minutes of the game but Sundowns couldn’t conjure up a comeback in such a short period.