Sundowns show their class as they storm to easy win over SuperSport in Tshwane derby.
SuperSport United (0) 1
Mamelodi Sundowns (2) 2
Maboe 10, Lakay 34
The result of this once bitter rivalry was never really in doubt, it was just the winning margin that Mamelodi Sundowns would triumph by that was always going to be a guessing game.
And Sundowns didn’t disappoint, particularly in the first half of the Tshwane derby as they sealed a 2-1 victory against city rivals SuperSport United at the Lucas Moriope Stadium in Atteridgeville yesterday.
It was in those 45 minutes from kick-off that the defending premiership champions showed their class and took the game away from their cross town rivals with Lebohang Maboe and Lyle Lakay’s goals enough to secure them three points and bring them within two points of Orlando Pirates who precariously sit at the summit of the standings.
What made the defending champions performance in the first half even more remarkable was the fact that it was done in trying conditions with an unexpected Highveld thunderstorm threatening to have the fixture called off.
But Sundowns seemed to thrive in the adverse conditions with their attacks being just as fierce and persistent as the downpour and darkness that had engulfed Atteridgeville.
And they were well rewarded with two goals, yet they could have scored more had the likes of Gaston Sirino and Themba Zwane not missed what would have ordinarily been routine goals on a drier and controlled turf.
Sirino and Zwane weren’t the only ones struggling with their radar in front of goal as New Zealand international Jeremy Brockie also looked unsure of himself in front of goal; and he was a shadow of the lethal strike force that he was when he still wore the colours of United.
While Sundowns bossed proceedings and were in full control of the game, United were crumbling; and besides looking sterile on attack, they were losing every battle on the pitch, which resulted in coach Kaitano Tembo making two substitutions before the half-time interval.
Even though it has been five years and 12 matches since their last triumph over Sundowns, the home side refused to throw in the towel and came out guns blazing in the second stanza.
At the heart of all that United conjured up was the evergreen Reneilwe Letsholonyane whose timely passes to his strikers unsettled Sundowns and midway through the second half had threatened to write a new and different chapter in the outcome of this derby.
United finally struck back with a Morgan Gould goal from a well taken free kick by substitute Aubrey Modiba, but the hosts failed to turn the heat up as the heavens cleared to allow for a pulsating finish to the game.
In the end Mamelodi Sundowns walked away with the spoils once again and it left no doubt of who the kings of Tshwane are and just two points away from returning to their throne as the kings of South African football.