Mamelodi Sundowns extended their unbeaten run in the DStv Premiership with a slender victory over Maritzburg United on Wednesday evening.
Sundowns made several changes from the MTN8 final, including a rare start for shot-stopper Reyaad Pieterse, as well as recalls for Divine Lunga, Haashim Domingo, Pavol Safranko, and Neo Maema.
The Brazilians got off to a shaky start, with misplaced passes from the back intercepted by the Team of Choice, but the visitors lacked the numbers in attack to capitalize on those opportunities.
Lunga went through on goal just before the half-hour mark, but his cross was quickly smothered by Maritzburg shot-stopper Marcel Engelhardt.
After breaking through inside the box, Peter Shalulile had Sundowns’ best chance of the half eight minutes before the break, but he ballooned his strike over the crossbar as the first stanza ended goallessly.
The Brazilians picked up the pace after the break, with Safranko forcing a save from Engelhardt after going through on goal.
Just before the hour mark, Shalulile broke the deadlock for the hosts with a first-time volley into the far post following a lovely ball over the top by Maema.
The Brazilians were in control of the game in the final stages and made a tactical change ten minutes before the end when Mothobi Mvala replaced Safranko.
However, Mosa Lebusa almost scored an own goal in stoppage time with a glancing header from a corner, but Pieterse was able to make the save as Sundowns moved three points clear at the top and extended their league clean sheet streak to 11 games.
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