A boring DStv Premiership encounter between Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu at least ended in great style on Sunday, as substitute Marcelo Allende scored in stoppage time to ensure the defending champions win 1-0 and extend their lead at the top of the table.
Probably the biggest attraction before that was the club’s farewell to longtime captain Hlompho Kekana, who came out at half-time to greet the fans and received a trophy from Sundowns chairman Thlopia Motsepe.
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The opening stanza saw few chances, with the biggest opportunity going to Themba Zwane. ‘Mshishi’, as he is affectionately known, dazzled his markers and played combination passes with Peter Shalulile, coming face to face with goalkeeper Veli Mothwa.
He did well to beat Bafana keeper Bafana, whom he will join in Hugo Broos’ camp this week, but was unlucky as he shook the crossbar.
About 15 minutes later, Usuthu had his own chance but they were denied by Bafana number one goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who continued to show why he plays past veteran keeper Denis Onyango. Williams made a nice double save to deny Gabadinho Mhango’s effort and Makhehleni Makhaula’s follow-up attempt.
In the 67th minute, you could have mistaken striker Shalulile for a centre-back as he was uncharacteristically missing a keeper. Marcelo Allende swung in a fine cross to find Shalulile unmarked, but the Namibian’s shot looked more like a clearance.
Sundowns coaches debuted new signing Terrence Mashego when they signed him as the 75th replacement for Sifiso Ngobeni.
The AmaZulu defenders swelled their lines towards the end of the game, with goalkeeper Mothwa being the main culprit. Mothwa played a tricky pass to his defender and Sandile Khumalo couldn’t handle the ball, giving the ever-green Shalulile a chance to intercept.
Shalulile played the ball to Khuliso Mudau, and Mothwa touched the ball before Mudau went into the net. However, he was flagged offside.