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SuperSport United v Mamelodi Sundowns Match Report, 11/12/21

0 - 1
P. Shalulile (9)
Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium
Tshwane Derby: SuperSport United 0-1 Mamelodi Sundowns - Masandawana pull 14 points clear
2:02 AM IST 12/12/21
Peter Shalulile, Mamelodi Sundowns & Onismor Bhasera, SuperSport United, December 2021
A depleted Matsatsantsa side could not contain the defending PSL champions in Atteridgeville

Mamelodi Sundowns maintained their unbeaten record in the 2021/22 PSL campaign when they edged out SuperSport United 1-0 in the Tshwane Derby encounter on Saturday night.

Peter Shalulile, who is in great form at the moment, scored the only goal of the match with a fine strike which earned Masandawana their 11th win of the season in the league as we reach the midway point of the current season.

Shalulile and Thabiso Kutumela started upfront having both scored in Sundowns' thrilling 3-2 victory over Royal AM on Wednesday. However, Masandawana were without the suspended Andile Jali, who had picked up the Man of the Match award after the encounter against Royal AM.

Having announced that Covid-19 had hit their camp prior to the game, SuperSport were without key players Ronwen Williams and Bradley Grobler. Thamsanqa Gabuza, who grabbed an assist as Matsatsantsa defeated Stellenbosch FC 1-0 on Wednesday, led the attack.

SuperSport started the match brightly and the first real chance of the game fell for an unmarked Ghampani Lungu over two weeks after he had become the first player to score against Sundowns in the league this season when he netted in the Tshwane Derby clash on November 24.

The Zambia international connected well with Onismor Bhasera's pinpoint cross from the left, but goalkeeper Denis Onyango fantastically tipped his effort over the crossbar as Matsatsantsa fired an early warning shot to Masandawana and the visitors responded by dominating the game.

Shalulile should have opened the scoring after he found himself in a one-on-one situation with keeper Boalefa Pule. However, somehow the Namibia international, who is usually clinical in front of goal placed his effort wide of the target and Matsatsantsa breathed a sigh of relief.

However, Shalulile made amends in the ninth minute when he ran onto Themba Zwane's through pass and he fired past on-rushing Pule to hand Sundowns a 1-0 lead. SuperSport looked to play on the counter, but they couldn't create problems for the visitors' tight defence and Sundowns were leading 1-0 at half-time. 

Matsatsantsa, who were under the guidance of assistant coach Andre Arendse with the club's head coach Kaitano Tembo missing after testing positive for Covid-19, came back rejuvenated after the restart and they controlled the game - bombarding the Masandawana box with crosses. 

Gabuza should have scored his seventh league of the season after he connected with Jamie Webber's quality cross from the right, but the former Bafana Bafana international headed the ball straight at Onyango, who produced a comfortable save.

Masandawana were nearly gifted a goal when Kegan Johannes' poor headed back pass was intercepted by Shalulile and Pule came out to deny the reigning PSL Footballer of the Year with a magnificent diving save from close range and the chance sparked the visitors back to life.

Gaston Sirino's marvellous pass sent Shalulile through on goal and he was superbly denied by Pule and Zwane's effort from the rebound was blocked on the goal line by Johannes. Sundowns then held onto their slender lead until match referee Luxolo Bandile blew the final whistle and they emerged 1-0 winners.

Therefore, Sundowns extended their lead to 14 points at the top of the league standings ahead of their clash with Baroka on December 14. SuperSport slipped down to fifth place after losing to their city rivals and they are scheduled to face Sekhukhune United on December 18.