/ 17 April 2008

Resurrection of Sundowns on course

The belated resurrection of Mamelodi Sundowns continued at Loftus Stadium on Wednesday night as the defending Absa Premiership champions sauntered to a comfortable 2-0 victory over never-say-die, relegation-threatened Thanda Royal Zulu.

And while coach Trott Moloto was not ”altogether satisfied” with his team’s performance, particularly as Sundowns were inclined to rest on their laurels in the second period, it was the Brazilians of old who went ahead 2-0 at the interval and never looked like surrendering their lead in the second period.

The opening goal in the 31st minute was the result of a dazzling solo effort by the enigmatic, unpredictable Lerato Chabangu, who gained possession near the halfway line and was unchallenged during a dizzy dribble to the edge of the penalty area.

Then, with the Thanda Royal defence continuing to back off, Chabangu fired a snaking 20m ground shot into the corner of the net.

If anything, the second goal eight minutes later from youthful full-back signing Papi Mungomeni was even more spectacular.

A rasping shot from Josta Dladla was deflected to Mungomeni, who promptly volleyed the ball into the roof of the net from 20m.

Sundowns appeared to take the foot off the pedal in the second period and Thanda Royal looked increasingly more penetrative, with Brian Baloyi in Sundowns’ goal required to make three saves in the KwaZulu-Natal club’s late surge.

But, in truth, there was never much doubt that Sundowns would secure the three points — and move closer to the prized top eight places in the log — which they now seem likely to achieve in order to defend their title in this particular competition. — Sapa