MATCH CENTRE

SAT 20 JANUARY 2018, 18:00, LOFTUS VERSVELD STADIUM

3
VS
0

Sundowns open four-point lead

by Graeme Jackson

Sat January 20, 20:01

Mamelodi Sundowns opened up a four-point lead at the head of the Absa Premiership standings thanks to a 3-0 home win over Platinum Stars on Saturday evening.

The Brazilians claimed the victory at Loftus Versfeld thanks to a brilliant strike from open play by Sibusiso Vilakazi and two great free-kick goals from the returning Khama Billiat.

Sundowns started the stronger of the two teams and created a few half-chances for the likes of Percy Tau and Khama Billiat in the opening quarter hour. And it was no surprise when the Tshwane team claimed the lead on 22 minutes, though the goal itself was an exceptional strike from Sibusiso Vilakazi.

The attacking midfielder picked up the ball just inside the Stars half, drove forward and ended with a perfectly-hit curler into the top corner which gave goalkeeper Dino Visser no chance whatsoever.

And the gloves-man was helpless again 10 minutes later when Khama Billiat doubled Sundowns’ advantage, sending a superb strike direct from a free kick just inside Visser’s right-hand post.

In the 37th minute Billiat added another goal, again direct from a free kick in a very similar position. This time the Zimbabwean’s strike was touched onto the underside of the crossbar by Visser’s fingertips, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the score ticking over to 3-0.

Stars responded by making changes either side of half time, sending on both Robert Ng’ambi and Bongi Ntuli, but they created little in attack and rarely troubled Sundowns’ defence.

The Brazilians went off the boil compared to their scintillating first-half showing, and not even the introduction of three new signings as second-half substitutes - Aubrey Ngoma, Gaston Sirino and Jeremy Brockie - could put them back in top gear.

But having already done the hard work, ‘Downs were able to coast home and claim three well-earned points.

Mamelodi Sundowns (3) 3 (Vilakazi 22’, Billiat 32’ 37’)

Platinum Stars 0

Sundowns: Onyango, Madisha, Soumahoro, Nascimento, Langerman, T. Zwane (Brockie 81’), Manyisa, Mabunda, Billat (Ngoma 63’), Vilakazi (Sirino 72’), Tau

Stars: Visser, Mere, Mthethwa, Sithole, Mpeta, Mekoa (De Jongh 83’), Mbatha (Ng’ambi 44’), Msomi, Mkhabela (Ntuli 46’), Rambuwane, Koapeng

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
LEAGUE MATCH LOFTUS VERSVELD STADIUM
MAMELODI SUNDOWNS GOALS PLATINUM STARS GOALS
11. Sibusiso Vilakazi (22')
33. Khama Billiat (32')
33. Khama Billiat (37')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1 1
MAMELODI SUNDOWNS STARTING LINEUP PLATINUM STARS STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
36
Goalkeeper
1
16
Defender
5
Defender
86'
29
Defender
0
Defender
4
Defender
2
Midfielder
32'
37'
63'
33
Midfielder
46'
0
Midfielder
32
Midfielder
35'
83'
27
Midfielder
0
0
Midfielder
22
Midfielder
15
Midfielder
22'
72'
11
Midfielder
0
Midfielder
81'
18
Midfielder
43
Midfielder
13
Forward/Striker
9
SUBSTITUTIONS
Aubrey Ngoma
Midfielder
63'
25
Robert Ngambi
Midfielder
44'
22
Gaston Sirino
Midfielder
72'
26
Bongi Ntuli
Forward/Striker
46'
0
Jeremy Brockie
Forward/Striker
81'
19
Ryan De Jong
Midfielder
83'
8
CARDS
Soumahoro Bangaly
Defender
86'
29
Manti Mekoa
Midfielder
35'
27
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
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