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Mamelodi Sundowns 2 – 0 Kaizer Chiefs

Sundowns were bolstered by the return of Themba Zwane in place of Sphelele Mkhulise while Amakhosi handed Thabani Dube his first start at the expense of Bernard Parker.

The home side got off to the perfect start after Grant Kekana powered home a header into the top corner at the back post after a cross by Lyle Lakay in the seventh minute.

Stuart Baxter’s charges looked dangerous whenever they were in attack, as Keagan Dolly came close to finding the equaliser in the 21st minute after running at the defence and unleashed a low strike that missed the bottom corner by a whisker.

Samir Nurkovic should have levelled matters for Chiefs just before the half-hour mark after Dolly’s cross looped over shot-stopper Denis Onyango, who over-committed, leaving the goals open but the Serbian guided his header over the bar.

Nurkovic wasted another big chance on the stroke of half-time, after missing the ball with an attempted volley from close range after an exquisite back-heel by Khama Billiat.

The visitors were on the front foot in the opening exchanges of the second stanza and were unlucky not to level matters just before the hour-mark from a set-piece, after Sifiso Hlanti’s free header from close range was incredibly saved by Onyango.

The Brazilians made a double change just after that, as Neo Maema replaced Gaston Sirino and Thabiso Kutumela came on for Kermit Erasmus, both for fresh legs.

The changes worked like a charm, as Peter Shalulile doubled Sundowns’ lead in the 63rd minute with a close-range finish unchallenged after a cross by Maema.

Baxter decided to fix his defence, as he brought on Sibusiso Mabiliso for his debut in place of Dube, however, Chiefs finally added an attacking player in the last 16 minutes, as Lebogang Manyama came on for his first appearance of the season, in place of Hlanti, in a tactical tweak.

Amakhosi had a lifeline in the last ten minutes after they were awarded a penalty for a handball by Rivaldo Coetzee inside the box but Manyama crashed his spot-kick against the crossbar in the top corner as Sundowns held on for maximum points.

source – soccerladuma

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