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TS Galaxy v Mamelodi Sundowns Match Report, 09/05/2021

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P. Shalulile (17)
Mbombela Stadium
TS Galaxy 0-1 Mamelodi Sundowns: Masandawana take a step towards fourth successive PSL title
15:52 GMT 09/05/2021
Peter Shalulile, Mamelodi Sundowns & Given Msimango, TS Galaxy, May 2021
Shalulile was the hero for the Tshwane giants, who will retain the league trophy if they win their next two games

Mamelodi Sundowns took a step towards their fourth consecutive PSL title after securing a 1-0 victory over TS Galaxy at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The only goal of the match was netted by Peter Shalulile, who scored his 11th league goal of the season in the first half and it earned the defending champions a narrow win.

The Rockets were hoping to win three matches in a row in the PSL for the first time in the club's history having secured 1-0 victories over Baroka FC and Cape Town City.

Coach Owen Da Gama made five changes to the team which faced Cape Town City last weekend with Wensten van der Linde and Lindokuhle Mbatha among the players, who were returning to the starting line-up.

Meanwhile, Masandawana were also looking to record their third successive win in the league having thrashed Orlando Pirates 3-0 on May 2, before brushing aside Maritzburg United 2-0 on Wednesday.

Khuliso Mudau, Kennedy Mweene, Lebohang Maboe and Promise Mkhuma were recalled to the starting line-up as co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena made four changes to the team which faced Maritzburg United.

Galaxy did well to contain Sundowns in the opening proceedings with Mlungisi Mbunjana seeing a lot of the ball in the middle of the park, but the hosts were unable to penetrate Masandawana's tight defence.

The visitors were awarded a corner-kick following a rare attack and Sundowns took the lead when Shalulile scored with a header in the 17th minute after Galaxy had failed to clear Aubrey Modiba's set-piece.

The Rockets looked vulnerable when defending against Masandawana's corner-kicks and crosses and they nearly conceded when Modiba's corner-kick was headed just over the crossbar by an unmarked Maboe.

Galaxy were awarded a penalty after Mosa Lebusa was adjudged to have handled Bathusi Aubaas' shot in the box, but Lindokuhle Mbatha was denied by goalkeeper Mweene from the spot-kick and the score was 1-0 to Sundowns at the interval.

Masilake Phohlongo and Wayde Lekay were both introduced by Da Gama prior to the start of the second half as the Rockets looked to level matters in the second half. 

However, Sundowns continued to threaten with crosses as Mudau's delightful cross found Gift Motupa, whose headed effort hit the side-netting with keeper Van de Linde rooted to the ground.

Mbunjana attempted to catch 2008/09 PSL Goalkeeper of the Season Mweene out of position with a long-range shot, but the former Highlands Park midfielder's effort went wide of the target.

It was Masandawana, who created the better chances in the closing stages with Maboe and Mudau unleashing shots that went just over Van de Linde's crossbar as the visitors looked to double their lead.

The visitors went to sleep at the back in stoppage time and Phohlongo had an opportunity to snatch an equalizing goal, but he ballooned his effort over the crossbar and in the end, Sundowns emerged 1-0 winners on the day.

The win saw Sundowns extend their lead to seven points at the top of the league standings with four matches left and they will face Egypt's Al Ahly in the Caf Champions League quarter-final first-leg game on May 15.

While Galaxy remain eighth on the standings - three points above ninth-placed Kaizer Chiefs and the Rockets are set to face Lamontville Golden Arrows in a PSL game on May 19.