MAMELODI Sundowns recorded their fifth win on the bounce with a 2-1 victory over Tshwane rivals the University of Pretoria in an Absa Premiership encounter at Loftus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from Anthony Laffor and Lebohang Mokoena, though, were not enough to send Downs top, due to Kaizer Chiefs’ superior goal difference.
Atusaye Nyondo scored for AmaTuks.
Pitso Mosimane continued to pay faith in the players that have been performing for the Brazilians over the past few weeks with the only change coming in goal; Kennedy Mweene returned between the sticks for the hosts in place of the injured Wayne Sandilands.
Steve Barker also resisted the urge to tinker with his side; the only change from their goalless draw against Bidvest Wits coming in midfield.
Tebogo Monyai replaced Siyabonga Ngubane in the starting XI, Buhle Mkhwanazi as a result shifted into the midfield.
Sundowns looked for an early opener and bossed possession for the first 20 minutes with AmaTuks forced deep into their own half as they looked to tame the onslaught.
The Brazilians though were finding it difficult to break down their neighbours’ defence and as the half grew on Tuks saw more of the ball and even conjured up a few opportunities of their own.
On the half hour mark Surprise Moriri attempted an opportunist effort from the centre circle, the ball seemed to be heading for the back of the net but Washington Arubi tracked back quickly to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Atusaye Nyondo forced Mweene into a good save five minutes before the break – the Malawian’s shot looked to have the beating of the Zambian keeper but the former Free State Stars stopper got done swiftly to deny the visitors the lead.
Laffor continued his scoring streak, nodding in on the stroke of halftime.
A pinpoint cross into the area by Hlompho Kekana was met by the towering Liberian attacker who bagged his fifth goal of the campaign.
Then Nyondo levelled matters for the visitors in the 63rd minute. A throw-in was nodded on by Mkhwanazi before Nyondo headed the ball past Mweene to register his seventh goal of the campaign.
Three minutes later though Sundowns regained their lead through a rejuvenated ‘Cheeseboy’ Mokoena.
Bongani Zungu’s cross into the area was met by the former Orlando Pirates winger who nodded in via the post to bag his third goal in eight days.
The win moves Sundowns level on points with Kaizer Chiefs but the Amakhosi have a superior goal difference, Tuks meanwhile remain 10th.
Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2 (Laffor 45+1’ Mokoena 66’)
University of Pretoria (0) 1 (Nyondo 63’)
Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene; Mashaba, Schut, Nthethe, Mphahlele, Kekana, Modise, Wome (Zungu 58’), Mokoena, Moriri (Sumaila 75’), Laffor (Malajila 90’)
AmaTuks: Arubi; Sibande (Mathosi 82’), Monyai (Massa 72’), Shoyisa, Kekana, Mkhawanazi, Mosadi, Ketjijere, Matsi, Nyondo, Mnyamane (Zwane 72’)-Backpage TXT