PRETORIA. — Hlompho Kekana’s second-half goal made the difference when Mamelodi Sundowns beat SuperSport United 1-0 in their Absa Premiership contest at Lucas Moripe last night. The victory for the league champions takes them to 44 points from 22 matches, but they remain at No. 4 one point behind third-placed Kaizer Chiefs. This encounter was the second meeting between the Tshwane giants in less than a week and the opening 10 minutes could not produce clear cut chances as they both fought for dominance.
However, the first 20 minutes saw the visitors exchanging good passes, yet they failed to beat Clayton Daniels and his fellow defenders.
Two minutes later, Kekana tried his trademark long range effort from a set piece, but goalkeeper Ronwen Williams was alert to fist the ball over the cross bar.
Despite both sides dishing out good passes in the middle of the park, there were no chances after the 30th minute as Tebogo Langerman and Teboho Mokoena’s long range efforts went wide.
With five minutes to go in the first half, Daniels showed a piece of skill with a brilliant turn in the box, but was denied by keeper Denis Onyango at the near post.
The Tshwane derby produced no goals in the opening 45 minutes, but Amatsantsa A Pitori were better in the heart of the park as Reneliwe Letsholonyane saw his well struck shot swallowed by Onyango 10 minutes into the second stanza.
Pitso Mosimane’s men came close to bagging their lead in the 71st minute with skipper Kekana allowed space on the edge of the box, yet his shot missed the right post.
In the last 10 minutes, Stuart Baxter’s men showed massive improvement at the back as they stopped all the attacks launched by their visitors.
However, Kekana produced a brilliant header in the 83rd minute from a well taken set piece by Teko Modise to beat Williams on his right corner, 1-0 to Sundowns.
United pushed forward in an aim to avoid a second defeat in a week, yet they could not unlock their visitors defence as they lost the tie.
The loss means they remain placed at No. 5 with 37 points from 23 matches in their 2016 17 Premier Soccer League campaign.
SuperSport United: Williams, Boxall, Gould, Daniels, Bhasera, Letsholonyane, Modiba (Masango 60’), Furman, Mokoena, Nkhatha (Phala 67’), Brockie
Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango, Langerman, Morena, Nascimento (Nthethe 74’), Madisha, T. Zwane (Laffor 79’), Mohomi, Billiat, Mashaba (Modise 61’), Kekana, Tau