Mamelodi Sundowns toiled to overcome a stubborn Swallows FC side 2-0 at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday evening as they began the new year with a victory. Second half goals from Neo Maema and Themba Zwane were enough to see The Brazilians consolidate their place at the top of the DStv Premiership table.
The game opened at a frantic pace, with the hosts setting the tone by keeping possession in the opposition half and searching for openings. Midfielder Teboho Mokoena had the first sight at goal for The Brazilians, testing goalkeeper Thakasani Mbanjwa with a strike from distance.
Longshots would become a theme in the first half as Swallows’ low block remained resolute, denying Masandawana any spaces. Mokoena followed with two more attempts, as did Marcelo Allende, however the midfielders had their attempts denied. At the other end, Ronwen Williams was alert when tested as he made a fine save to keep the Swallows attack at Bay and protect his fine run of consecutive clean sheets. The two sides went into the break on level terms.
The second half followed the order of the first, with the team in Yellow establishing territorial dominance in the Swallows half. Downs turned on the style in the second half and got closer to scoring after neat combination play from Themba Zwane and Marcelo Allende.
The Brazilians were rewarded for their patience when Neo Maema rifled the ball into the back of the net to break the deadlock. Before the dust had settled a swift attacking move resulted in a goal from Themba Zwane which saw Bafana ba Style double their lead within three minutes and open a comfortable lead.
The technical team rung the changes in a bid to maintain the intensity, with Gift Motupa, Lesedi Kapinga and Aubrey Modiba coming on shortly after Sundowns had taken the lead. Chances to extend the lead continued to follow, with a double chance for the substitute Kapinga being denied by multiple defenders.
The Brazilians remained resolute at the back and controlled the closing stages to secure their eleventh win of the season and maintaining their position at the summit of the DStv Premiership with 34 points.
How Lined Up
Williams, Mvala, Kekana, Ngobeni, Mudau, Mokoena, Allende, Maema, Sirino, Mailula
Subs: D.Onyango, De Reuck, Kapinga, Jali, Mkhulise, Domingo, Motupa, Modiba, Mbule