Sundowns continue to falter as Amakhosi steam ahead with 2-1 win


Khama Billiat of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Lorenzo Gordinho of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns at the FNB Stadium, South Africa on 01 April 2017

JOHANNESBURG – An own goal by Mamelodi Sundowns defender Bangaly Soumahoro handed Kaizer Chiefs a 2-1 victory at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night and extended the Pretoria club’s winless league streak to four matches.

Khama Billiat had put Sundowns in front midway through the first half, but a Bernard Parker equaliser before half time and Soumahor’s second half calamity allowed Chiefs to end a run of three consecutive draws and also extends their unbeaten league run to 10 matches. Steve Komphela’s team ended the night just two points off log leader Bidvest Wits, while Downs are seven points off the summit but with games in hand.

The match got off to a high-tempo, frenetic start, with neither side able to keep possession for any length of time. Both teams were to have chances in the opening 15 minutes as Tiyani Mabunda headed over the bar for Sundowns before Bernard Parker missed narrowly with a near-post flick and then Siphiwe Tshabalala went in on goal only to be denied by some fine goalkeeping from Kennedy Mweene.

The near-capacity crowd didn’t have to wait too long, though, for a goal, Sundowns talisman Billiat marking his return from injury by putting Downs ahead in the 26th minute after his drive from the edge of the area skidded off the boot of Lorenzo Gordinho and into the net.

But Amakhosi were to hit back within just eight minutes with an equaliser from Parker, who squeezed in a shot off the near post after Edmore Chirambadare had beaten two defenders before teeing up his team-mate.

The high-tempo action continued after the restart as Parker had a 50th-minute effort brilliantly tipped over the bar by Mweene before Percy Tau and Themba Zwane both had shots saved by Itumeleng Khune in goal for Chiefs.

Zwane had another chance in the 57th minute and from close range should have put the defending champions ahead, but he skewed his shot badly over the goal.

As proceedings wore on chances were less and the match became increasingly tense. And it was the Masandawana defence which cracked under the pressure, Chiefs taking the lead in the 76th minute when with Gustavo Paez snapping at his heels, Soumahoro sent his attempted back-pass into his own net.

George Lebese could have added a third moments later, but with plenty to aim at, he curled the ball wide of goal, while Paez was also close to scoring late on.

Khune produced a brilliant late save to keep Hlompho Kekana from equalising as Chiefs continued to build title-challenging momentum, a large portion of their fans staying well after the final whistle to savour the win over the country’s most successful club of recent years

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