Sundowns find a way past SuperSport with Kekana and Zwane on target
Mamelodi Sundowns’ mellow yellow machine only looked as deliciously fearsome as ever picking their way past a strong SuperSport United 2-0 in their Absa Premiership opener at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.
Goals by Hlompo Kekana in the 34th minute and Themba Zwane in the 51st saw Downs flex their muscle – some of it added in the off-season – to recover from their opening 1-0 MTN8 defeat here against Maritzburg United.
Pitso Mosimane has professed himself some fan of his two new signings, and players looking for a lease of life after average campaigns last season – George Lebese and Oupa Manyisa.
Sundowns’ coach gave a start to both, and they continued to indicate that surrounded by Downs’ superstars, in such a fluent team, they can regain their prowess and be two of the season’s more interesting additions.
More though, it was Downs’ intelligence and comfort on the ball, in front of an uncompromising defence, that saw them fairly stroll past an almost timid SuperSport, who appeared not confident to play against a side they have not beaten in the league in almost four years.
Downs could pick their holes without too much pressure coming the other way.
Eric Tinkler’s SuperSport look formidable on paper – on the field and bench. They certainly had their moments.
Left-back Aubrey Modiba jinked past Lebese and struck a dipping shot from the edge of the area that skimmed the crossbar.
Downs got their opener through deft simplicity. Billiat won the ball on the right of the area and centred to Hlompo Kekana, who placed a low, rolled finish inside the left upright that Ronwen Williams could not have saved.
SuperSport’s buildups were structured and they made ground as far as the final third, where it was more some superb back four organisation by the Brazilians than a lack of a telling pass that denied entry.
Matsatsantsa, though, also seemed wary of taking the game to the Brazilians. They tried to play it tactically in the middle of the park, but a tendency against adventurism, and to sit back, can be a dangerous ploy against the best attack in the PSL.
Six minutes into the second half Khama Billiat played Zwane, beating Clayton Daniels, down the right, whose shot was low and hard and easily past Williams.
Daniels’s header had to be pushed over the bar by Denis Onyango just after the hour.
SuperSport will be a force in 2017-18. To reinforce that point Teboho Mokoena’s drive was palmed out by Onyango, who did not have a quiet afternoon.