Mamelodi Sundowns suffered their first-ever defeat to TS Galaxy as they lost 1-0 in a Premier Soccer League encounter which was played on Wednesday night.
Lefa Hlongwane's first half strike was enough to earn the Rockets a historic win over the most successful club in the PSL era in terms of league titles won (12) and it is the Mpumalanga side's maiden win of the current campaign.
Having started their defence of their PSL title with a 2-0 win over Cape Town City on Friday, co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena made one change to the starting line-up as Rushine de Reuck replaced Mosa Lebusa in the team.
A lot was said about Sibusiso Vilakazi coming into this match as the accomplished attacker was facing Sundowns for the first time since leaving the Tshwane giants last month having spent six years with Masandawana. The 32-year-old was hoping to inspire the Rockets to their first win of the season after drawing 0-0 with AmaZulu FC on Sunday.
Sundowns dictated the tempo and looked for gaps in the Galaxy defence in the opening exchanges, but the hosts were struggling to keep their efforts on target. It took 33 minutes for the Brazilians to register their first shot on target when Themba Zwane forced goalkeeper Melusi Buthelezi into a fine save.
The Rockets then launched a quick counter-attack and they managed to break the deadlock. Bathusi Aubaas' rasping shot was parried into Hlongwane's path and the 28-year-old fired past goalkeeper Ronwen Williams with a hard and low shot to hand Galaxy a surprising 1-0 lead.
Sundowns responded by upping the tempo as they searched for the equalising goal with the half-time break approaching and Peter Shalulile's shot was easily saved by Buthelezi. Almost immediately at the other end, Vilakazi was denied by Williams from a one-and-one situation after the Downs defence was exposed. The score was 1-0 to Galaxy at half-time.
Masandawana took full control of the match after the restart with Haashim Domingo being the likeliest goalscorer for the hosts. The former Vitoria Guimaraes reserve team star saw his powerful shot miss Buthelezi's upright, before forcing the Galaxy shot-stopper into a great diving save.
Mokwena and Mngqithi made a triple substitution just after the hour-mark - introducing Sipho Mbule, Andile Jali and debutant Abubeker Nassir. However, the Galaxy defence which was marshalled by the towering Given Msimango stood firm with the hosts struggling to penetrate the visitors' backline.
Having scored a wonderful free-kick against City last week, Aubrey Modiba had a chance to rescue his team from a set-piece as Masandawana applied pressure on the Rockets in the closing stages of the game, but this time the left-footed player missed the target. The last chance of the match fell for Gaston Sirino who was brilliantly denied by Buthelezi and ultimately, Galaxy emerged as 1-0 winners.
Therefore, Sundowns registered their first loss of the current season and they are set to take on Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday in a titanic clash, while Galaxy are scheduled to face SuperSport United on Sunday.