DURBAN – Mamelodi Sundowns edged Golden Arrows 1-0 in a pulsating Absa Premiership clash at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The vital three points took Sundowns back to the top of the log standings on 22 points, two points clear of second-placedOrlando Pirates.
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Sundowns were in front after just six minutes when Bangaly Soumahoro showed good finishing for a defender. The Ivory Coast defender deftly controlled the ball and whacked a superb volley into the back of the net.
Stunned by the early setback, Arrows hit back and should have equalised five minutes later, but Kudakwashe Mahachi’s shot from distance thundered against the crossbar.
As the game swayed from end to end, in an entertaining opening 45 minutes, Sundowns had an opportunity to increase their advantage, but Hlompho Kekana fired wide of goal.
Arrows gave as good as they got – and they were unlucky when Limbikani Mzava flashed one wide and Knox Mutizwa’s effort sailed over the bar
Both Arrows and Sundowns never let up in the second half as both continued to play with admirable enterprise. For the Durban side, Mahachi and Mutizwa were always prominent and had the Sundowns defence at a stretch. For Sundowns, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Percy Tau and Themba Zwane created all sorts of problems for the Arrows defence.
In the 69th minute, Vilakazi fired in a smart volley, but was foiled by a great save from Arrows goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede. Three minutes later, Oupa Manyisa had a chance, but he, too, was denied by Gumede.
Ten minutes before the close, Arrows coach Clinton Larsen added a bit more attacking thrust to the team, replacing Wayde Jooste with Velemseni Ndwandwe in a bid to find some inspiration. And, to their credit, Arrows never gave up; they kept trying, but it was all to no avail as the Sundowns defence kept them out.