Mamelodi Sundowns (0)2
Tau 55, Billiat 81
The Brazilians gave their Absa Premiership title defence a much-needed kick start at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. Sundowns collected their first three points after a stuttering start. Their first two matches, a draw and a loss, were overshadowed by their successful CAF Champions League campaign.
This victory moves them from the bottom of the log to 14th as they continue to play catch-up in a season where other clubs have played eight games while they have just played three. Being this far-behind will test their endurance because they have to play three games a week until December.
Sundowns’ coach Pitso Mosimane made five changes from the side that lost to Cape Town City on Sunday. Those changes included resting the club’s captain Hlompho Kekana. Jingles had one eye on the Tshwane Derby against SuperSport United on Saturday in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals. The lad from Mamelodi, Lucky Mohomi, controlled the Brazilians’ midfield in Kekana’s absence.
The African champions started this match better than their first two domestic games after they were crowned kings of Africa. They got over the hangover of winning the Champions League after they paraded that trophy all over Pretoria a day before this match. With that chapter closed, Sundowns resumed their domestic league campaign.
Rise and Shine roughed them up, testing the knocks that those who played in the Champions League picked up from that grueling campaign. Percy Tau didn’t pick up any knocks in that run, instead he grew in confidence. The 22-year-old led the Brazilians’ attack and even put them ahead. He sneaked between two defenders to direct Thapelo Morena’s cross into the back of the net. Tau turned provider for Khama Billiat to seal the victory.
The Zimbabwean forward came on for Siyanda Zwane in the second half. Billiat took the armband from Wayne Arendse and helped the Brazilians cross the finish line against a tricky Polokwane side. This win will help Sundowns settle into what will be a hectic two months with a trip to Japan for the Fifa Club World Cup sandwiched between their domestic campaign.
Original source: Sundowns return to winning ways