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Sat Jun 25 12:32:23 CAT 2016

Mamelodi Sundowns dig deep to thump Orlando Pirates

Tshepang Mailwane | 11 February, 2016 00:57
Issa Sarr of Pirates and Khama Billiat of Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on February 10, 2016 in Soweto, South Africa.
Image by: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns were given a reminder last night that matches won't always be a walk in the park.

They were reminded that although they had swept aside PSL rivals with big scores recently, there are matches they are going to have to dig deep to win.

Against Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium - a game they won 2-1 - Pitso Mosimane's men had to hold on in a game that looked to be in the bag until Mpho Makola scored a stunning freekick for the Bucs in the second half.

But that is what championship teams do - win matches even when things don't go too well.

The visitors played like they owned the place, toying with the Pirates defence as though they were in a training session. Their goals, or rather the build-ups to the goals, were sublime as the "CBD" combination of Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly caused havoc for the hosts.

The first goal, scored by Colombian striker Castro in the 19th minute, was sheer brilliance, not just from the scorer but also from the man who played the final pass - Billiat.

Eight minutes before the break, Sundowns were two goals up.

The national Under-23 captain's shot was parried back into play by Bucs goalie Brighton Mhlongo, who could do little to stop Billiat's follow-up shot that struck both uprights before going into the back of the net.

Pirates must have been relieved when the referee blew for half-time. They never looked comfortable when Downs were in possession and at times were guilty of giving away too much time on the ball.

Bucs fans grew impatient, calling for a substitution after Thamsanqa Gabuza missed from close range. Bucs coach Eric Tinkler brought on Lehlohonolo Majoro to support Gabuza and Menzi Masuku for Yasser Mugerwa at the start of the second period. Pirates woke up from their slumber and reduced the deficit with a phenomenal goal from Makola.

  • Mark Gleeson reports from Athlone Stadium, Cape Town, that Mpumalanga Black Aces came from two goals down at half-time to earn a point away in a 2-2 draw, with a shocker of a miss by Aubrey Ngoma denying them a chance to go second in the league standings.

The point was enough for Aces to move above Kaizer Chiefs into third place, but they might have taken all three points and gone above Bidvest Wits into second place.

They fought back after being 2-0 down at the break to goals by Riyaad Norodien and Prince Nxumalo. Collins Mbesuma got his 12th goal of the season to pull matters back and substitute Bongolethu Jayiya equalised six minutes from the break.

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