Champions Sundowns stretch their lead at the top to five points

17 February 2021 - 19:26
By mahlatse mphahlele AND Mahlatse Mphahlele
Peter Shalulile scored his 7th DStv Premiership for Mamelodi Sundowns as the champions went five points clear at the top.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Peter Shalulile scored his 7th DStv Premiership for Mamelodi Sundowns as the champions went five points clear at the top.

The well-oiled Mamelodi Sundowns machine continues to roll on.

They remain unbeaten after 16 outings, ten wins and six draws, and they have opened a five point lead at the top of the league standings after beating Baroka 2-0 on Wednesday at Loftus.

The Brazilians, who registered their third successive league win, issued a strong message to the chasing pack of SuperSport United, Swallows, Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates that they are serious about defending their league title.

For Baroka, they remain 10th spot and under pressure from teams that are sitting below them on the DStv Premiership log after a recent run of four matches without a win which includes two losses and as many draws.

This victory for Sundowns was secured through second half goals by influential attackers Gaston Surino and Peter Shalulile who took advantage of some sloppy defending by Baroka.

In the first half, the first notable chance came from Evidence Makgopa whose close range shot was saved by Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango after he received the ball from Thamsanqa Masiya.

Though they did not have many scoring chances, Sundowns enjoyed most of the possession with the likes of Sirino, Themba Zwane, Siphelele Mkhulise and Shalulile on the forefront.

On the other hand, Baroka relied more on the counter attacks with Makgopa, Gerald Phiri Jnr, Goodman Mosele and Manuel Kambala hoping to catch the Sundowns defence napping.

Baroka started the second half stronger as they attacked Sundowns and their notable chance was from Joslin Kamatuka who came agonisingly close shortly before the hour mark.

Sundowns reacted by opening the scoring after 62 minutes when Sirino placed the ball beyond the outstretched hands of Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze after he received a defence splitting pass from Kermit Erasmus.

Five minutes later, Sundowns increased their lead when Shalulile pounced from inside the box for his seventh goal of the season after Chipezeze failed to clear the danger.

It could have been worse for Baroka a few minutes later as Erasmus watched in disbelief as his shot ricocheted off the uptight after he connected with a well delivered cross from Lebohang Maboe.

Sundowns only return to league action next month as they have a trip to Algeria to take on CR Belouizdad in the Caf Champions League on Tuesday and the Nedbank Cup last 16 next week Saturday.

Baroka return to league action on Saturday when they will be hosting Black Leopards in the Limpopo derby at the Peter Mokaba Stadium where they will be desparate to return to winning ways.