Despite a dominant showing, Mamelodi Sundowns were made to work hard for their three points in their DStv Premiership clash against Chippa United.
CAPE TOWN – Mamelodi Sundowns returned to winning ways but made heavy weather of their 2-1 win over lowly Chippa United in their DStv Premiership clash at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium, East London, on Monday afternoon.
Three days ago, Sundowns suffered a rare defeat when they were beaten 2-0 by Algerian visitors CR Belouizdad. This loss snapped Sundowns’ 28-match winning streak (20 wins, 8 draws).
The result allows log-leaders Sundowns to move six points clear of second-placed AmaZulu, who have 40 points after 22 games. Sundowns, after 20 matches, are on 46 points.
Chippa will remain marooned near the bottom of the standings but three points adrift of Black Leopards, the perennial basement dwellers.
Sundowns imposed their dominance right from the get-go, and their first scoring chance emerged in the fourth minute after fine inter-play by strikers Peter Shalulile and Themba Zwane.
In the ensuing minutes, Chippa’s debutant goalkeeper Ugandan Ismail Watenga denied Sundowns twice in quick succession. However, the breakthrough came in the 15th minute when Zwane converted from the spot.
Riaan Hanamub, Chippa’s Namibian international, fouled striker Aubrey Modiba in the penalty area, and referee Philangenkosi Khumalo had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Four minutes into the second half, Chippa stunned Sundowns by scoring the equaliser after excellent work by midfielder Gregory Damons. He laid on a defence-splitting to Chippa’s lone striker, Nigerian Augustine Kwem, whose angled drive flew past Sundowns keeper Ugandan Denis Onyango.
Sundowns’ response came in the 74th minute when Shalulile scored with a header after the ball bounced off the crossbar.