Sundowns sink Amakhosi's title hopes

Zimbabwean Nyasha Mushekwi and Mozambican Elias Pelembe scored the goals that gave Mamelodi Sundowns a 2-0 victory over Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday and a massive PSL title boost.

Sundowns took their chances and Chiefs did not before a 40 000-plus crowd as the Pretoria club moved within five points of leaders Ajax Cape Town and they have played one game less in the race for a $1,4-million winners cheque.

Mushekwi rifled a loose ball into the net on 33 minutes after a Chiefs defence lacking suspended Burundian Valery Nahayo failed several times to clear.

Pelembe was equally clinical when presented with a chance seven minutes after half-time as he controlled a weak clearance with his chest and let the ball bounce once before slamming it past goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

Josta Dladla and Mandla Masongo were Chiefs biggest culprits when it came to finishing, failing to score with only goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands to beat during a first half in which the black and gold often held the upper hand.

“Character and determination won this match for us. It makes me very happy to see a defence that conceded four goals in its last match proving so solid today,” boasted Sundowns caretaker coach Ian Gorowa.

“We must keep our feet on the ground as there are three fixtures to play and AmaZulu will be tough on Wednesday,” said the Zimbabwean, who was handed control when Spaniard Antonio Lopez quit after getting death threats during a form slump.

‘Title dreams are over’
Chiefs Serb coach Vladimir Vermezovic conceded defeat in the title race although his side still have a mathematical chance of a first title since topping the table six season ago.

“Our title dreams are over. We lost the match in the first half by not taking two clear-cut scoring opportunities. You cannot do that against Sundowns and hope to win,” he said.

Ajax won 2-1 at home to AmaZulu Friday and have 59 points—three more than Orlando Pirates who suffered a shock 1-0 home loss to outgoing champions SuperSport United in Soweto 24 hours later.

Sundowns are third with 54 points and their game in hand will be played Wednesday in Durban against an AmaZulu side desperate for points to avoid finishing second last and facing promotion/relegation play-offs.

Ajax visit Chiefs next Saturday before finishing at home to lowly Maritzburg United on May 21, Pirates face Santos (away) and Golden Arrows (home) and Sundowns also play Maritzburg (away) and Bloemfontein Celtic (home).—AFP

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