MAMELODI Sundowns will be hoping that their victory over AmaZulu in their Absa Premiership encounter at Loftus Versfeld is the begging of better things to come. The Brazilians ended their three games winless run with a hard fought 1-0 over an out of sort Usuthu in Tshwane last night.
Ali Meza grabbed what proved to be the winning goal in stoppage time in the first half. Downs reduced the gab on run away from Kaizer Chiefs to ten points after eleven matches.
The Brazilians will now go into their opening Caf Champions’ League Group C encounter against Petro de Luanda at the same venue on Saturdaybeing high on confidence. Downs tore Usuthu into shreds with a 5-0 demolition in their previous meeting in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinal in Atteridgeville.
The KZN-based outfit were out to prevent lightening from striking in the same place again. The Tshwane side lost 3-2 to Golden Arrows in their previous outing, while Usuthu suffered a 2-0 defeat against Chippa United. Usuthu were much better defensively as they put lot of bodies behind the ball to prevent another massacre in the capital city.
AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha pulled off a series of saves to keep the Brazilians at bay. But there was nothing he could do to prevent Meza from opening the scoring in stoppage time in the first half. Sibusiso Vilakazi provided one of the best assists of the season for Meza to pass the ball into the net.
The home side pressed and pressed for the breakthrough and they were eventually rewarded. But the margin would have been bigger if it wasn’t for the heroics of Mbatha. Usuthu suffered a huge blow when their number one goalkeeper Mbatha was unable to continue due to injury. He was replaced by Niel Boshoff at the start of the second half.