A 21st minute winner from Nyasha Mushekwi took Mamelodi Sundowns back to the top of the Absa Premiership after they beat Black Leopards 2-1 at the Peter Mokaba stadium on Wednesday night.
Man of the match, Punch Masenamela, opened the scoring before his goal was cancelled out by Samuel Mabunda. Masenamela, though, turned provider when he created the winning goal for the Brazilians with a superb left-wing cross.
The game kicked-off in the strangest of fashions as Punch Masenamela opened the scoring in only the second minute with a bit of a fortuitous goal.
The Brazilians’ defender tried his luck with an unexpected 35-yard effort which worked its way through a crowd of players, wrong footing the keeper, as it found the back of the net, 1-0.
Azwindini Maphaha certainly didn’t expect the ‘Downs left-back to let fly from that far out and was actually moving to cover his right-hand post when Masenamela took the shot.
Leopards, though, were not to be out done and hit back quickly finding the equaliser ten minutes later after Mabunda latched onto a Luyolo Mapolisa corner with powerful 12-yard header to level matters, 1-1.
In the 21st minute the game found its third goal, this time goalscorer Masenamela turned creator when given too much space and time down the left flank.
The ‘Downs man produced a pin point cross to find Mushekwi, who did well to get in front of his marker, and glanced the ball into the back of the net with a six-yard header, 2-1.
After the quick-fire opening 20 minutes the game settled down a bit as Sundowns controlled the possession stakes for the remainder of the half.
Leopards, on the other hand, seemed content to consolidate and ensure they entered the halftime break only a goal down which they achieved through some resilient defence.
The second 45 was nowhere near as exciting as the first 45 and while the possession stakes were reversed with Leopards seeing more of the ball, the home side could not create any decent chances on goal.
Instead, ‘Downs still looked the more threatening going forward and came close to finding their third goal in the 59th minute when Lebohang Mokoena shaved the left-hand upright with a 22-yard volley.
That was the best of the second half action as both teams were wasteful in the final third of the field.
The game ended 2-1 as Sundowns moved back to the summit of the Absa Premiership and Leopards remained in 14th spot.
Black Leopards (1) 1 (Mabunda 12’)
Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2 (Masenamela 2’, Mushekwi 21’)
Leopards: Maphaha (Maluleke 50’); Dzaga, Khoza, Mabusela, Xakane, Bobe, Mabunda, Duiker, Mapolisa (Sibeko 86’), Nkhatha, Zulu (Obaje 65’)
Sundowns: Marlin; Daniels, Mampuru, Mwanjale, Masenamela, Nyandoro, Moriri (Kekana 81’), Mokoena, Modise, Pelembe (Henyekane 84’), Mushekwi.-Backpagepix