Sundowns strike important blow in title race

Sundowns strike important blow in title race
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns scores penalty past Veli Mothwa of Chippa United during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 football match between Sundowns and Chippa at Loftus Stadium, Pretoria on 15 February 2020 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Feb 15, 2020. 22:16

Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns struck an important blow in the Absa Premiership title race on Saturday 15 February, making up three points on leaders Kaizer Chiefs in what could yet prove to be a turning point in the season narrative.

Sundowns featured in an afternoon clash in which they eased to a 3-0 home win over Chippa United at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, courtesy of goals from Nicholus Lukhubeni, Themba Zwane and Sibusiso Vilakazi. The Brazilians shifted up one place on the table and closed the gap to leaders Chiefs to seven points.

The value of the victory only became clear in the early evening clash when the Amakhosi slumped to a surprise 2-1 loss at home to Maritzburg United. Daylon Claasen scored a brace of goals for the Team of Choice, while the Soweto giants saw their lead remain at seven points – and they have now played a game more than ‘Downs.

The other afternoon matches saw Bidvest Wits bounce back from their midweek defeat to Maritzburg with a 1-0 away win at Baroka FC, courtesy of a goal from Deon Hotto, while Peter Shalulile confirmed his return to peak form with a brace of goals for Highlands Park in their 2-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic at Makhulong Stadium.

Saturday’s action wrapped up with a Durban Derby at King’s Park Stadium in which Knox Mutizwa scored twice to see Golden Arrows claim a 2-1 win over AmaZulu. Abafana Bes’thende rise to seventh on the log, while Usuthu remain in 15th place and have now played at least a game more than all of their fellow strugglers.

The weekend’s action opened with Stellenbosch continuing their fine form with a 1-0 home win over SuperSport United on Friday, while Sunday wraps up the round with two matches in the Limpopo province: Black Leopards v Orlando Pirates and Polokwane City v Cape Town City.

Absa Premiership results, Saturday 15 February

Baroka 0-1 Bidvest Wits

Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 Chippa United

Highlands Park 2-0 Bloemfontein Celtic

Kaizer Chiefs 1-2 Maritzburg United

AmaZulu 1-2 Golden Arrows

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