PSL News 19.4.2017 10:01 pm

Pitso’s men leave it late before downing Supersport

Hlompho Kekana during the Absa Premiership match between SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium on April 19, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Hlompho Kekana during the Absa Premiership match between SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium on April 19, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Hlompho Kekana kept Mamelodi Sundowns’ league title defence hopes alive, as he scored deep into the second half to allow his side to beat Supersport United 1-0 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Tshwane Derby generated much pre-match hype, particularly after Sundowns whipped Supersport 5-0 in the first round league encounter played last week, but with the hosts holding deeper positions than usual.

It was difficult even for the speedy Sundowns players to break down the well organised defensive pattern.

While Kekana powered home a header from a free kick taken by substitute Teko Modise in the 83rd minute to give Pitso Mosimane’s men all three points on offer, he was unlucky not to have scored 12 minutes earlier, when his powerful low shot from 30 yards out caught the outside of the Supersport woodwork.

Sundowns could well have got on to the score sheet in the 22nd minute of the first half, but Supersport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams did well to push a curling free kick from Kekana away from the goal area.

At the other end of the park, Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango had a quieter evening than usual, in being well protected by a defence in which centre back Ricardo Nacimento was a tower of strength.

Like Sundowns, Stuart Baxter’s Supersport charges have also had their plans plagued by injuries during a gruelling continental and domestic campaign, and the loss of Bafana Bafana attacker Thabo Mnyamane through suspension has not helped their cause much.

The win was Sundowns third league victory in a row, and took them to 44 points from 22 matches, with Cape Town City heading the table on 46 points from 24 games, followed by Bidvest Wits on 45 points from 22 matches. Sundowns next league outing is a home encounter against Ajax Cape Town next Wednesday.

Supersport, on 37 points from 23 games, take on Kaizer Chiefs in a Nedbank Cup quarterfinal at Soccer City on Saturday, before facing Wits in an away fixture next Wednesday.

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