Mamelodi Sundowns’ dominance in the Dstv Premiership continued when they recorded their 15th win in a row. Their one-nil victory against Orlando Pirates in Soweto also secured a league double against them this season. Cassius Mailula scored the solitary goal as early as the sixth minute.
It was the fourth meeting between the two sides this season and they both came into the fixture following a good run of results. But it was Sundowns who were yet to be reminded of the pain of a defeat after 15 consecutive matches.
Pirates would have felt the pressure to stop the winning streak and avoid Sundowns boasting a double against another Soweto giant in one season. The Brazilians had recently recorded a second league win against Kaizer Chiefs.
However, they seemed to have been destined for a 15th victory on the trot as early as the sixth minute. From the first whistle, the intention was clear, and they took the lead with a powerful strike from young sensation Cassius Mailula.
Moments later Sundown’s keeper Ronwan Williams had to make a save that came from teammate Thapelo Morena after a Pirates’ set play.
It remained a balanced first half, and although the home side saw more of the ball, the two sides went into the break with an equal number of attempts at goal.
In the second half, the Buccaneers went in search of the equalizer and came close on a few occasions. This moment came after they had made two changes, bringing on Vincent Pule and Kabelo Dlamini.
Sundown’s captain Themba Zwane should have contributed positively to a possible second goal for his team, but he wasted an opportunity to extend the lead as he allowed complacency to creep and force a poor shot at goal.
As the match moved towards the end, the Pirates’ defence was under threat. The best moment for Sundowns came in the 82nd minute when Mailula had a chance to claim a brace, but Pirates keeper Sipho Chaine was up to the task. It ended one-nil as Sundowns recorded their sixth league win in a row against Pirates.
“We played the game away from home, the way it’s supposed to be played and believe me it could have been two or three decisions making let us down, very proud of the effort of the players,” says Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Rulani Mokwena.
“We were the better team today, much better than Sundowns in the first and second half. We made a mistake this team is not forgiving with the quality they have up front they won the game, but I have nothing to regret, nothing to say to my players, they were the better team tonight,” says Jose Riveiro, Orlando Pirates coach.
Downs will next feature in a league encounter in March as they will now engage in the Nedbank Cup and three CAF Champions League matches for the remainder of the month.