Downs rack up five-star win

Mamelodi Sundowns racked up their biggest win under the tenure of coach Johan Neeskens with a 5-1 thrashing of Black Leopards at Loftus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Inspired by a brace from Nyasha Mushekwi, the Brazilians scored three goals in the last quarter of the match to bring up a morale-boosting victory that draws a line under their embarrassing defeat to Moroka Swallows in the Telkom Knockout last weekend.

Sundowns enjoyed more of the ball from early on but they struggled to find a rhythm in their attacking play, allowing Leopards to settle into the game and set out their stall to defend well and look to hit the hosts on the counter attack.

Yet Lidoda Duvha did need goalkeeper Posnett Omony to make an excellent save low to his right to turn away a fierce shot from Mabhuti Khenyeza in the 18th minute. Zimbabwean Nyasha Mushekwi also had a couple of headed opportunities but wasn’t able to hit the target.

Yet the strongly-built striker broke the deadlock three minutes into added time at the end of the first half, chipping the ball over the advancing Omony after sprinting onto a great through ball. The goal left the Brazilians 1-0 up at half time.

Leopards had chances to equalise in the early stages of the second half – Mongezi Bobe and Rodney Ramagalela both spurned good chances that originated out on the flanks, and the visitors’ inability to capitalise on the opportunities came back to haunt them.

Mushekwi doubled Sundowns’ advantage on 63 minutes, beating Simphiwe Vezi to Teko Modise’s corner kick and scoring with glancing header. The Zimbabwean was soon replaced by Katlego Mphela, who duly made it 3-0 soon after coming off the bench, cracking home a right footed shot.

Leopards scored a consolation goal on 85 minutes when Khethowakhe Masuku scored brilliantly from a direct free kick, but further strikes from Richard Henyekane and Mphela in the 87th and 91st minutes respectively added further gloss to the score line for the Brazilians.

They remain fourth on the Absa Premiership log but have moved back to within three points of leaders SuperSport United. Leopards are second from bottom, two points ahead of Jomo Cosmos.

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 5 (Mushekwi 45+3’ 63’, Mphela 68’ 90+1’, Henyekane 87’)
Black Leopards (0) 1 (Masuku 85’)

Sundowns: Sandilands; Letlabika, Mwanjale, Xulu, Masenamela, Moriri, Kekana, Modise (Zwane 84’), Pelembe (Henyekane 78’), Mushekwi (Mphela 65’), Khenyeza

Leopards: Omony (Maphaha 46’); Vezi, Maake (Monama 46’), Kwena, Xakane, Bobe, Tshabalala, Banda, Masuku, Ramagalela, Obaje (Mongalo 77’)