A brace from Cuthbert Malajila helped Mamelodi Sundowns to a 2-0 win over AmaZulu at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Sunday afternoon.
Patience paid off for Sundwons who returned to winning ways thanks to a quick-fire double from Malajila in his first start of the season.
Pitso Mosimane made three changes to the side that suffered a heavy defeat to Orlando Pirates in midweek with the trio that came off the bench against the Buccaneers.Thabo Nthethe, Malajila and Kuda Mahachi were all promoted to the starting XI.
Usuthu entered the clash rock bottom and it was no surprise then that Craig Rosslee tinkered to his starting eleven. Willem Mwedihanga, Sifiso Hlanti, John Arwuah and Ayanda Dlamini were all included from the onset.
Usuthu who were further spurred on by their 7-1 loss to Sundwons at the same ground last season, started the stronger of the two sides.
Ayanda Dlamini’s corner-kick fell to Goodman Dlamini who forced Kennedy Mweene into a smart save with two minutes on the clock.
Usuthu continued to express their intent and rattled the upright in the 23rd minute through Sadate Ouro-Akoriko. A floated free-kick picked out the AmaZulu centre-back who shook his marker before seeing his header onto the post.
This breathed some life into the Brazilians who themselves went close through Suprise Moriri two minute later.
Moriri who was deployed in an attacking role alongside Malajila rose highest from a corner-kick and looked certain to score, but his header was cleared off the line by Nhlanhla Shabalala who was well positioned at the near post.
The game continued to ebb and flow with Mario Booysen notably flashing his header attempt wide of goal in the 35th minute.
Tapuwa Kapini was called into action 10 minutes into the second-half, producing a fine diving save to tip Hlompho Kekana’s pile driver around the post.
‘Downs finally broke down Usuthu’s resolute defence on the hour mark.
Tebogo Langerman picked out Malajila with a precise cross, the Zimbabwean finding the back of the net with a superb diving header.
Malajila doubled his sides lead seven minutes later. Suprise Moriri this time picking out the energetic front man with a pin-point outside of the boot cross, who headed in from close range.
Malajila almost grabbed his hat-rick eight minutes from time but somehow sent his effort wide with the goal at his mercy.
The win moves Sundowns up to eighth while AmaZulu remain rock bottom after five rounds of fixtures.
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 2 (Malajila 60′ 67′)
AmaZulu (0) 0
Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene; Mphahlele, Nthethe, Booysen, Langerman, Pelembe (Mbatha 81′), Kekana (Zungu 70′), Modise, Mahachi, Moriri (Uzoenyi 75′), Malajila
AmaZulu: Kapini; Mwedihanga, Hlanti, Nyadombo, Ouro-Akoriko, Shabalala (Madondo 66′), Arwuah, A.Dlamini (M.Dlamini 65′), G.Dlamini, Shange (Mwape 73′), Ndulula.-www.psl.co.za