Downs turn on the heat

MAMELODI Sundowns kept the pressure on log leaders and defending champions SuperSport United when they pipped Ajax Cape Town 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at Athlone Stadium yesterday.

MAMELODI Sundowns kept the pressure on log leaders and defending champions SuperSport United when they pipped Ajax Cape Town 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at Athlone Stadium yesterday.

The win saw the Brazilians remain three points behind United, who opened a six-point lead on Saturday after beating Free State Stars 2-0 in Atteridgeville.

What makes Downs' challenge for the championship stronger is that they have a game in hand.

The Brazilians were businesslike from the onset yesterday as they frequented the Urban Warriors' defence at ease, searching for an early lead.

In the 16th minute, Sundowns striker Katlego "Killer" Mphela could not believe his eyes when he watched in disbelief as his close-range attempt went narrowly wide.

The home side, who were forced to resort to defending, were reduced to 10 men after referee Daniel Bennett sent off defender Clayton Daniels for kicking Luvhengo Mungomeni at 26 minutes.

A minute later, the Urban Warriors were forced to replace defender Derek Decamps, who pulled a muscle, and was replaced by former Amajita vice-captain Thulani Hlatshwayo.

In the 33rd minute, Ajax striker Diyo Sibisi fluffed a golden scoring opportunity with goalie Brian Baloyi at sea. His shot hit the side netting.

Sundowns wrapped up the game in the 51st minute when Lebohang "Cheeseboy" Mokoena easily converted Mphela's pass to give the visitors the vital three points.

l Bloemfontein Celtic and Moroka Swallows shared the spoils after playing to a 1-all draw in a thrilling match at Seisa Ramabodu Stadium, writes Thabo Johnson.

Swallows' midfielder Sibusiso Khumalo scored in the first half and Patrick Malokase equalised for the home side in the second stanza. The game was played in searing heat but the two teams gave a good account of themselves.

l In Durban, AmaZulu played to a goalless draw against troubled Mpumalanga Black Aces at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Canaan Mdletshe reports.

Usuthu threatened Aces' goal first but Bradley Ritson's attempt was parried for a corner by goalie Energy Murambadoro in the second minute. The first clear-cut chance for AmaZayoni fell to Gilbert Mushangazhike but hit the crossbar.

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