Mamelodi Sundowns got the 2021/22 DStv Premiership season off to a good start as they defeated AmaZulu 1-0 at the Loftus Stadium on Friday evening.
Bafana Ba Style steamed into the game looking as they wanted a repeat of the barnstorming start of the campaign of which they did, just like in the last term.
Usuthu looked bright in the early stages of the showdown as they attacked in numbers – trying to taste the waters, but Sundowns quickly stabilized them.
Veli Mothwa was called into action after Masandawana sent a reminder of their distinctive, rapid, energetic counter-attacking football.
Downs continued to see plenty of the ball, but struggled to create any clear-cut chances with their opponents getting a number of players back on the edge of their own box.
Despite the defending champions pilling pressure on the visitors, Benni McCarthy’s troops improved as the half went on, and came close to finding a way through to the Brazilian’s defence.
The first half hour’s intensity waned slightly but the Tshwane-based outfit remained on top – controlling the match.
In the 44th minute of the showpiece, when we thought the game will go into the interval deadlocked, Themba Zwane scored the first and only goal of the day from the penalty spot after Peter Shalulile was brought down in the 18 area.
Second half – the KZN-based side made a dominant start with their efforts going down the drain.
However, the rampant 10-time Premier Soccer League (PSL) winners couldn’t be contained, especially when they pushed forward.
The 2020/21 PSL runners-up had been totally floored as Sundowns sealed their first win of the season.
As a result, Masandawana sit on the summit of the DStv Premiership log standings with three points.
Meanwhile, this was McCarthy’s first defeat on matchday one in the South African football top-flight as a coach.
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By Mauwane Raophala