No Island cruise for Downs

THE final scoreline of 3-1 suggests it was little more than what might be termed an island cruise for Mamelodi Sundowns against third division Island FC in the Nedbank Cup last-32 game at the Ulundi Complex Stadium in Kwanongoma yesterday.

THE final scoreline of 3-1 suggests it was little more than what might be termed an island cruise for Mamelodi Sundowns against third division Island FC in the Nedbank Cup last-32 game at the Ulundi Complex Stadium in Kwanongoma yesterday.

Don't you believe it. The affluent Absa Premiership side were given a run for their money all the way, trailed until the 43rd minute and only went into the lead for the first time in the match when former Newcastle United midfielder Andrew Pattison scored the second of his two goals with a touch of professional composure that reflected the experience he gained in English football.

Pattison, indeed, was the man-of-the-match for Sundowns coming to light shortly before half-time with an emphatic headed goal when Downs were beginning to look more than a little edgy.

The near-capacity crowd at the compact 10000-seat stadium roared in delight in the 20th minute when Lingani Zungu guided the ball past Sundowns goalkeeper Brian Baloyi to give the home team a surprise lead.

And for some time after this setback, Sundowns looked harassed and rattled and hardly looked like equalising.

But the game took a decisive turn after an hour's play, with Zambian Felix Katongo making the score 3-1 only three minutes after Pattison had completed his brace.

Island never gave up the chase and came close to reducing the deficit in the closing minutes.

Downs seemed to benefit from the second-half changes made by caretaker coach Trott Moloto. The arrival of Benedict Vilakazi, in particular, gave fresh purpose to the Brazilians' build-ups.

Mpumalanga Black Aces were made to sweat before beating amateur side FC Royals 5-3 on penalties at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in another match played yesterday. - Sapa

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