Absa Premiership weekend wrap - ‘Downs clear favourites, Celtic claim derby triumph

Absa Premiership weekend wrap - ‘Downs clear favourites, Celtic claim derby triumph
Limbikani Mzava of Lamontville Golden Arrows and Pupa Manyisa of Mamelodi Sundowns FC could not get to the ball as Siyanda Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns FC swooped in to win the battle during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Golden Arrows and Mamelodi Sundowns at Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban on 10 December 2017 © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Dec 11, 2017. 09:30

A busy weekend of Absa Premiership action ended with Mamelodi Sundowns claiming a narrow win at Golden Arrows to underline their status as title favourites, while Bloemfontein Celtic crushed rivals Free State Stars in their feature derby.

‘Downs beat Arrows 1-0 in Durban on Sunday - thanks to an excellent goal from Bangaly Soumahoro - to rise to the top of the log. The Brazilians have won four of their last five league matches and hold a two-point advantage despite having played three fewer games than their nearest chasers.

The day’s other game saw Celtic put in their best performance of the season to crush Free State Stars 3-0 at Dr Molemela Stadium, with Victor Letsoalo’s brace sandwiching a fine strike from Lucky Baloyi.

The round got underway on Friday night as Maritzburg United continued their stunning return to form with a 3-0 hammering of Baroka FC at Harry Gwala Stadiu, with Evans Rusike netting a brace for the Team of Choice.

Saturday saw three of the five matches end in draws, as both SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits scored late equalisers to salvage 1-1 results at home to Cape Town City and away to Polokwane City respectively, while Orlando Pirates moved temporarily to the top of the log despite a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to AmaZulu which saw Bucs defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza score at both ends of the field.

The other two matches on the day brought huge relief for both Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town. The former won 1-0 away to Platinum Stars thanks to a rare headed goal from Siphiwe Tshabalala, while the latter ended Chippa United’s 10-match unbeaten run with a 1-0 ‘home’ win at Bidvest Stadium.

The Absa Premiership will continue with two catch-up matches in midweek (Sundowns v Maritzburg and Free State Stars v SuperSport) before having its last full round of fixtures next weekend, December 15-17.

Absa Premiership weekend results

Friday 8 December
Maritzburg United 3-0 Baroka FC

Saturday 9 December
SuperSport United 1-1 Cape Town City
Polokwane City 1-1 Bidvest Wits
Platinum Stars 0-1 Kaizer Chiefs
Ajax Cape Town 1-0 Chippa United
Orlando Pirates 1-1 AmaZulu

Sunday 10 December
Bloemfontein Celtic 3-0 Free State Stars
Golden Arrows 0-1 Mamelodi Sundowns




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