Sundowns crowned DStv Premiership champions

Sundowns crowned DStv Premiership champions
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Supersport United at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, on 26 May 2021 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Bertin Basson

Wednesday May 26, 2021. 19:36

Mamelodi Sundowns clinched a fourth DStv Premiership title in a row with an emphatic 3-1 win over ten-man SuperSport United at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday.

Goals from Lebohang Maboe, Aubrey Modiba and Themba Zwane handed Sundowns an 11th league title in the Premier Soccer League era with three games remaining in the 2020-21 season, and further underlined their dominance in the domestic game.

Victory moved Sundowns 10 points clear atop the league standings while SuperSport remain in sixth spot. Teboho Mokoena scored Matsatsantsa’s solitary goal on the night.

The early exchanges set the tone for what was to come with chances at either end of the pitch and Gaston Sirino was only denied the opener by the woodwork in the opening minute of the clash. The Uruguayan rounded Ronwen Williams in the SuperSport goal but failed to find the target from an acute angle.

As if their task wasn’t hard enough, SuperSport suffered a major blow in the seventh minute as Guily Manziba received a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Sphelele Mkhulise, which resulted in the latter having to leave the field moments later.

Matsatsantsa were almost gifted the opener in the 29th minute after a loose pass by Brian Onyango was pounced upon by Bradly Grobler but his namesake, Denis, came to the Sundowns defender’s rescue.

Three minutes later, the floodgates opened. Modiba burst onto an in-perfect through ball by Sirino before finding Maboe who slid home the game’s opener from close range.

Sundowns doubled their lead in the 40th minute when Modiba’s cross beat everyone – including Kermit Erasmus – to bounce into back of net with Williams rooted to the spot.

Zwane netted Sundowns’ third on the day and his 10th of the league season on the cusp of half-time. Scorer turned provider once more with Modiba grabbing his second assist on the night; teeing up his teammate who finished with power and equal aplomb.

Sundowns threatened to add to their tally for the evening after the break and were handed a golden opportunity to do so in the 54th minute following a handball by Keenan Phillips inside the area. Zwane stepped up to the spot, but Williams denied him to further emphasise his penalty-stopping credentials.

SuperSport, to their credit, never let their heads drop and were rewarded in the 88th minute as Mokoena thumped home a trademark rocket from range and sure goal-of-the-season contender.

The game ended on somewhat of a sour note with Denis Onyango forced from the field with a hand injury, resulting in Brian having to finish the game in goal after Sundowns had made all their substitutions.

SuperSport failed to test the centre-back in stoppage-time and ultimately – like they did in 2014 – Sundowns clinched the league crown following victory over their Tshwane rivals at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Mameloid Sundowns (3) 3 (Maboe 32′ Modiba 40′ Zwane 44′)

SuperSport United (0) 1 (Mokoena 86′)

Mamelodi Sundowns: D.Onyango; Modiba, Lebusa, B.Onyango, Morena, Coetzee (Mvala 77′), Jali (Mkhuma 77′), Mkhulise (Maboe 19′), Zwane, Sirino (Vilakazi 77′), Erasmus (Affonso 58′).

SuperSport United: Williams; Mahachi, Ditlhokwe, Kekana, Phillips, Donn (Webber 88′), Mokoena, Mbule (Lungu 18′), Manziba, Gabuza (Rayners 64′), Grobler.

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