Mamelodi Sundowns regained their top spot in the DStv Premiership rankings on Wednesday night at Lucas Moripe Stadium after defeating Tshwane derby rivals SuperSport United 2-0.
Cape Town City overtook the Brazilians at the top of the table this past weekend, after they had not participated in the domestic league since late September.
However, goals from Peter Shalulile and Lucas Ribeiro gave the Brazilians their ninth straight Premiership victory since the season’s beginning, setting a new PSL record.
With 27 points from nine games, “Downs” are in the lead, while City drops to second place with 25 points from 13 games.
With 23 points from 13 games, Matsatsantsa, who have now lost three straight in all competitions, are in third place.
Sundowns controlled the early going, but SuperSport appeared to be the more formidable side due to their greater intensity and aggressive running, which gave Ghampani Lungu and Bradley Grobler a few half-chances.
However, the champions picked up a gear around the halfway point. Grant Margeman was able to clear the ball off the goal line after Lebohang Maboe squandered a counterattacking opportunity.
And on minute 31, Shalulile—who had hardly touched the ball until then—made history for the Brazilians by deftly deflecting Maboe’s cross past United custodian Washington Arubi to make it 1-0.
Prior to halftime, Matsatsantsa attempted to equalise the score, but Sundowns’ second goal in injury time proved to be the decisive blow.
Neo Maema skillfully disguised a deft ball onto Lucas Ribeiro’s chest during a dead-ball drill that looked right out of the training pitch. Ribeiro then scored a volley to put the visitors ahead 2-0.
Seven minutes into the second half, Maema set up Maboe for a goal that would have given Sundowns even more advantage, but Maboe misplayed his lines, attempting a finish that swerved wide of the goal after a poor first touch.
Shalulile had a fantastic opportunity to score twice in the half when replacement Khuliso Mudau found him clear in the middle of the box, but the Namibian’s half-turn shot went over the crossbar.
Shandre Campbell, an 18-year-old substitute for SuperSport, had a few encouraging moments, but the team was unable to sustain the same level of threat that they had early in the match, which allowed the Brazilians to easily win again.
Next week, Sundowns will return to Premiership play on the road against AmaZulu, while SuperSport’s next league game is on the road on December 15 against Moroka Swallows.
This coming weekend, both Tshwane teams will play in CAF club competition.