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Sundowns blow away Cape Town City in season opener

Mamelodi Sundons players celebrate with Aubrey Modiba after he scored the opener against Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town on 05 August 2022.
Mamelodi Sundons players celebrate with Aubrey Modiba after he scored the opener against Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town on 05 August 2022.
Image: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

If the big question for this season is who can stop Mamelodi Sundowns, the answer from the opening game is not Cape Town City or perhaps no one at all.

The Brazilians blew away City in a space of two minutes to register an impressive DStv Premiership 2-0 win on the opening night of the campaign at Cape Town Stadium on Friday night.

The Citizens are Sundowns’ bogey team as they have troubled the Brazilians since they came onto the scene in 2016 but they were outdone by goals from Aubrey Modiba and Themba Zwane just after the hour mark.

The Cape side was the only team Sundowns didn’t beat in the league last season in their march to recording a fifth successive championship title.

They had no such problems on Friday night, even though City started like a house on fire, Sundowns showed their brilliance by snuffing them out and punishing City for two mistakes Keanu Cupido made.

The first mistake Cupido made was conceding a needless free-kick in Teboho Mokoena range but it was another former SuperSport United player who took the set piece.

Modiba stepped up and gloriously opened the 2022/23 season with a scrumptious curler.

Before City could pick themselves up, Zwane beat Cupido for pace and then chipped goalkeeper Hugo Marques three minutes after the hour mark.

Even though there was under a half-hour to go, the match was finished as a contest.

Sundowns showed their intentions early on.

Peter Shalulile crouched like a menacing tiger ready to pounce before the Citizens kicked off the 2022/23 season.

It was telling of the Namibian’s intention and to an extent the Brazilians.

Shalulile, just like Sundowns, dominated last season.

Shalulile cleaned up at the Premier Soccer League awards for his efforts, while the Brazilians cleaned out the trophies — winning everything on offer.

But that’s all in the past. The challenge that lay before Shalulile and Sundowns was doing it all over again.

They both took to the field not resting on their laurels, but eager to improve their legacies by dominating once again.

In City, Sundowns and Shalulile were up against a formidable foe who has had their number.

The Capetonians settled the quicker of the two, looking confident in front of a strong crowd at home.

This was not only the opening match of the season, but the first where 100% attendance of supporters was allowed since Covid-19 wreaked havoc in the country.

Thabo Nodada and debutant Luke Daniels missed glorious chances to give City the lead. Nodada and Daniels didn’t even force a save out of Ronwen Williams who was making his Sundowns’ debut.

Sundowns made them pay, punishing them in the first two big chances they got.

Even though they were far from their best, with Shalulile a passenger, Sundowns had enough firepower to start the season with a solid win.

It’s going to take a Herculean effort for the other 15 teams to stop this menacing yellow machine that has monopolised the league.

It’s not far-fetched to think that the S in the DStv Premiership stands for Sundowns — which would explain why the second letter is capitalised with the two that follow it in small letters.

Scorers

Cape Town City 0

Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 2

Modiba 61, Zwane 63

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