Downs cruise in Tshwane derby

Mamelodi Sundowns extended their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership table when they defeated the University of Pretoria 3-1 at the Tuks Rugby Stadium on Saturday night.

Cuthbert Malajila, Khama Billiat and Rodney Ramagalela were on target for the Brazilians, while Grant Kekana scored the only goal for AmaTuks.

It was the visiting side who drew first blood in the 3rd minute when Khama Billiat ran onto a long ball on the left before squaring for Malajila to volley home from a tight angle at the far post.

However, their lead last just four minutes as the hosts drew level at the other end with Grant Kekana burying his low shot from close range after Sundowns had failed to clear a corner from Siyabonga Ngubane.

Malajila had an opportunity to score his second goal of the match the match when Hlompho Kekana won the ball and put him through the middle, but the Zimbabwe international fired just wide after turning his marker inside the box.

Pitso Mosimane’s men did regain their lead in the 29th minute with Bongani Zungu releasing Billiat with a well-weighted long pass and the latter controlled the ball before placing his low shot beyond the approaching Washington Arubi.

AmaTuks came close to finding the equaliser before the break when Khethukuhle Zwane cut in from the left before unleashing a powerful shot, but his effort flew just wide of the upright.

Billiat should have done better two minutes into the second half when he was offered space to shoot outside the box, but this time he fired his tame effort straight at Arubi.

Steve Barker’s side were then reduced to ten men in the 59th minute with Mpho Matsi receiving his marching orders for a second bookable offence following a late tackle on Billiat.

The next scoring opportunity would only arrive in the 67th minute from a setpiece as Hlompho Kekana forced Arubi to dive to his right to keep out his well-struck dipping freekick.

Despite playing with a man less, AmaTuks continued to press on for the equaliser and came close in the 78th minute when Lucky Mathosi found Ronald Ketjijere outside the box, but his shot flew over the crossbar.

Substitute Mpho Maruping had an effort from a similar distance on the right in the 86th minute, but he also failed to hit the target as his effort sailed wide of the upright.

Sundowns made sure of the result in the third minute of added time from a counter-attack which saw Zungu releasing Malajila on the left; the Zimbabwean could have gone for goal but he opted to play a low cross for Ramagalela to finish at the far post.

Sundowns remain at the top of the table with 20 points from nine matches, while AmaTuks are in 13th place with eight points.

University of Pretoria (1) (Kekana 7’)

Mamelodi Sundowns (2) (Malajila 3’, Billiat 29’, Ramagalela 90+3’)


University of Pretoria: Arubi, Kekana, Shoyisa, Mkhwanazi, Moussono-Moussono, Ketjijere, Matsi, Ngubane (Mathosi 46’), Zwane, Nyondo (Tarumbwa 72’), Mosadi (Maruping 73’) Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene, Langerman, Schut, Moon, Malajila, Mashego (Ramagalela 46’), Kekana, Shongwe (Moriri 75’), Zungu, Billiat (Khumalo 83’), Sumaila Backpage TXT