‘Downs, Maritzburg with key wins

‘Downs, Maritzburg with key wins
Kermit Erasmus of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Stellenbosch FC on the 28 November 2020 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jan 02, 2021. 19:31

South Africa’s DStv Premiership returned from the festive season break with a bang on Saturday 2 January 2021, as champions Mamelodi Sundowns and relegation-threatened Maritzburg United both claimed key wins.

The day’s afternoon clash at Loftus Versfeld saw Sundowns and Orlando Pirates produce an enthralling match – one which featured high quality play and should have seen far more goals.

It was fitting, given that this was very much a heavyweight bout between two of the league’s giants, that the biggest player on the field was the match-winner, as Sundowns’ Kenyan defender Brian Onyango nodded home from close range on 35 minutes for the only goal.

The result sees the Brazilians open a three-point lead at the top of the log over nearest chasers Swallows FC, while the Buccaneers’ first loss of the season leaves them in fifth place and eight points adrift of the top – though they have played a game less than ‘Downs.

The early-evening clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium saw Maritzburg United pick up their first win of the season by defeating Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1, breaking a 14-game drought which stretched back to the 2019-20 campaign.

A brace of goals from returning striker Thabiso Kutumela saw the Team of Choice to victory which lifts them off the foot of the table, while Phunya Sele Sele drop to 11th after a fourth league loss this term.

The DStv Premiership will continue with five midweek fixtures on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 January, with the pick of the game seeing in-form teams Swallows FC and Cape Town City meet in Soweto.

DStv Premiership results, Saturday 2 January

Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 Orlando Pirates

Maritzburg United 2-1 Bloemfontein Celtic

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