Ten-man Mamelodi Sundowns brush aside Sekhukhune United to send Orlando Pirates warning

Victor Letsoalo of Sekhukhune United challenged by Thapelo Morena of Mamelodi Sundowns, January 2023Backpagepix
  • Goals from Shalulile and Mailula earned Downs the win
  • It is a record-extending 14th successive win in the PSL
  • Downs are now 22 points clear at the top of the log

WHAT HAPPENED? The Brazilians maintained their excellent form by brushing aside Babina Noko who had held them to a draw in the first round league clash last September.

Sekhukhune were able to frustrate Sundowns in the first-half with the hosts limited to long-range shots which were well saved by goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare.

However, the PSL champions upped the tempo after the restart and they broke the deadlock in the 50th minute through the league's top scorer Peter Shalulile who netted his ninth goal of the season.

Coach Rhulani Mokwena's side continued to surge forward after taking the lead, but they were reduced to 10 players after substitute Marcelo Allende had picked up two yellow cards within two minutes.

Despite being numerically disadvantaged, Sundowns continued to attack, and substitute Cassius Maillula sealed the hosts' 2-0 win when he netted in the 82nd minute - his sixth league goal of the campaign.

The defeat ended Sekhukhune's four-match winning run in the PSL, but they remained fifth on the PSL log.

ALL EYES ON: Sirino, as the Uruguayan playmaker maintained his good form for the Tshwane giants.

The 31-year-old grabbed his second assist in as many matches having caught the eye with his creativity once again.

He will be hoping to have done enough to re-cement his place in the team with Downs' Caf Champions League group stage campaign set to start next month.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It is a PSL record-extending 14th consecutive win for the Brazilians who have impressively accumulated 52 points from 20 matches.

Furthermore, Sundowns have opened a 22-point lead at the top of the PSL standings, but second-placed Richards Bay have three games in hand.

Masandawana have 10 games left and they need 24 points to set a new record for the most points accumulated in a single PSL season.

The current record is 75 points having been set by Sundowns in the 1999-2000 campaign.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR SUNDOWNS? The Brazilians' win over Sekhukhune despite being numerically disadvantaged should send a strong warning to Orlando Pirates who are scheduled to host Mokwena's side at Orlando Stadium on February 4.

Sundowns will be looking to complete a league double over the Buccaneers for a third season running.

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