Home Sport Unbeaten league run continues for Sundowns after win over Royal AM

Unbeaten league run continues for Sundowns after win over Royal AM

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With very little left to play for, many would have forgiven the Brazilians for taking the foot off the pedal, but there was no such tomfoolery in the KwaZulu-Natal capital on Tuesday night.

Celebrationg with goal scorer Lesiba Aku (right) of Mamelodi Sundowns is teammate Peter Shalulile during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 game against Royal AM at Harry Gwala Stadium on 14 May 2024. Picture: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

Lunga Biyela

Mamelodi Sundowns edged closer to an unbeaten league season when they beat Royal AM 2-0 in their DStv Premiership clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday night.

Having already clinched the title, the result means Rulani Mokwena’s men are just three games away from an unprecedented invincible league campaign.

With very little left to play for, many would have forgiven the Brazilians for taking the foot off the pedal, but there was no such tomfoolery in the KwaZulu-Natal capital on Tuesday night.

Like most teams when they play against the mighty Sundowns, Royal AM were disciplined in defence as they looked to limit the champions’ chances.

Going forward, the KwaZulu-Natal team didn’t offer much, and Sundowns’ defence were virtually on holiday during the early stages.

For much of the first half, forays into the Royal AM 18-yard area were repelled by John Maduka’s team.

In the 35th minute, Neo Maema nearly found the back of the net for the Brazilians after a lay-off pass by Peter Shalulile, but his effort clattered off the upright, much to the relief of those gathered at Harry Gwala Stadium.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 40th minute when Shalulile scored an acrobatic rebound after Lesiba Nku’s header had been blocked by Hugo Nyame.

Royal AM showed more urgency in the second half, and were able to create a number of chances, but very few seemed to trouble Ugandan veteran Denis Onyango in the Sundowns goal.

In the 73rd minute, Nku eventually found himself on the scoresheet from the edge of the area after a dummy run by Maema left the Royal AM defenders at sixes and sevens.

With full time approaching, Sundowns were given a penalty when the ball ricochet off Ayanda Jiyane’s arm after a shot from Siyabonga Mabena, but Marcelo Allende blasted his spot kick way over the bar.

That was the last kick of the game, and it ended 2-0 to Sundowns.

With two games left to play, Royal AM’s fifth league loss in a row dragged them closer to the relegation places, and will give provincial rivals Richards Bay belief that they can climb out of the bottom two.

IOL Sport

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