Royal AM capitalise on barren weekend for ‘Downs, Chiefs and Pirates

Royal AM capitalise on barren weekend for ‘Downs, Chiefs and Pirates
Bongani Sam of Maritzburg United challenges Eva Nga of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Maritzburg United and Orlando Pirates held at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on 04 September 2022 © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Sep 04, 2022. 19:49

A barren weekend of results for Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates has allowed Royal AM to rise to the top of South Africa’s DStv Premiership.

The round opened on Friday evening with a headline-grabbing 2-1 home win for SuperSport United over champions Mamelodi Sundowns. Matsatsantsa avenged a defeat at the hands of the Brazilians in the MTN8 last weekend thanks to first-half goals from Thapelo Maseko and Bradley Grobler, while a late consolation was netted by Abubeker Nasir.

Saturday saw Royal AM rise to the top of the standings by defeating Sekhukhune United 2-1 in Polokwane – with a brace from Mfundo Thikazi – as they took full advantage of AmaZulu being held 0-0 in Soweto by Kaizer Chiefs.

Also on Saturday, Cape Town City continued their revival by stretching their unbeaten run in the league to four matches with a 1-0 win at TS Galaxy, courtesy of Khanyiso Mayo’s early goal; Richards Bay returned to winning form with a 2-1 triumph away to Stellenbosch FC, thanks to a goal and assist from Sanele Barns; and Golden Arrows held off a comeback from Chippa United to claim a 3-2 win at the Princess Magogo Stadium. Abafana Bes’thende led 3-0 at the break thanks to Ntsikelelo Nxadi, Nduduzo Sibiya and Pule Mmodi, while the Chilli Boys struck back through Etiosa Ighodaro and Ronald Pfumbidzai, but could not force a late equaliser.

Sunday’s early match saw Marumo Gallants remain the only winless team in the league after they were held 1-1 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium by Swallows FC.

Bahlabane Ba Ntwa were on course for a first triumph when Sibusiso Kumalo put them ahead in the first half, but the Birds fought back via Mbulelo Wambi to salvage a share of the spoils.

The final game of the weekend, at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday evening, presented Orlando Pirates with the chance to reclaim pole position from Royal AM, but instead they were handed a surprise 1-0 defeat.

Amadou Soukouna’s late penalty secured victory for the Team of Choice, leaving Pirates in third place – two points behind Royal and level with second-placed AmaZulu. Sundowns, Richards Bay, Galaxy, Maritzburg and Swallows round out the top eight, while the relegation places are occupied by Sekhukhune United (playoff) and Chippa United (direct).

The DStv Premiership will continue with three midweek matches on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 September, as Royal Am, Cape Town City and Chippa United play host to Richards Bay, Sekhukhune United and Mamelodi Sundowns respectively.

DStv Premiership weekend results

Friday 2 September

SuperSport United 2-1 Mamelodi Sundowns

Saturday 3 September

Golden Arrows 3-2 Chippa United

Stellenbosch FC 1-2 Richards Bay

Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 AmaZulu

Sekhukhune United 1-2 Royal AM

TS Galaxy 0-1 Cape Town City

Sunday 4 September

Marumo Gallants 1-1 Swallows FC

Maritzburg United 1-0 Orlando Pirates

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