Citizens dash Sundowns' invincible dream

football25 May 2024 16:28| © Backpage TXT

Mamelodi Sundowns fell at the final hurdle after they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Cape Town City at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday to end their dream of finishing the DStv Premiership season unbeaten.

Eric Tinkler's side concluded their campaign on a high with a second successive win to leapfrog SuperSport United and TS Galaxy into fifth place as the Brazilians lost for the first time in the league since September 2022.

Bafana ba Style were playing their 57th game of a gruelling season which saw them reach the MTN 8 final, the African Football League final and the CAF Champions League semifinals, with a Nedbank Cup final against Orlando Pirates still to come.

City had a chance to rain on Sundowns' parade by handing them a first defeat in 54 top-flight matches and sign off with a third win in four outings.

The hosts made a bright start and threatened to open the scoring on seven minutes when Mosa Lebusa forced Darren Keet into a save with his header from a free-kick, while Tashreeq Matthews failed to keep the ball down after getting on the end of Lebohang Maboe's cross in the 17th minute.

Maboe was also guilty of failing to test Keet with a volley on the edge of the box that cleared the crossbar on 28 minutes and the two teams went into the halftime break still deadlocked at 0-0.

Keet was called into action again early in the second half to keep out Siyabonga Mabena's first-time strike on 50 minutes, but the home crowd were stunned into silence 11 minutes later as Jaedin Rhodes pounced on a mistake from Mothobi Mvala and tucked his shot past Ronwen Williams to put City 1-0 up.

Masandawana looked to respond and Teboho Mokoena drew a fine save out of Keet with a fiercely-struck effort from the edge of the 18-yard area on 64 minutes as the visitors started to commit more bodies into defence.

Keet was alert to the danger in the closing stages when he raced off his line to make a save at the feet of Neo Maema, who did well to bring an aerial ball down inside the box.

Sundowns continued to push for an equaliser but the Citizens held firm at the back to become the first team to not lose to the champions this season.

Mamelodi Sundowns 0

Cape Town City (0) 1 (Rhodes 61')

Mamelodi Sundowns: R. Williams, R. Coetzee, B. Zungu (N. Maema 78'), M. Mvala (J. Mendieta 67'), K. Mudau, T. Zwane, L. Maboe (M. Esquivel 57'), M. Lebusa, T. Matthews (T. Mokoena 57'), S. Mabena, T. Morena (L. Ribeiro 67').

Cape Town City: D. Keet, P. Fisher, L. Gordinho, K. Cupido, L. Slatsha, T. Leshabela (R. Mokhuoane 32'), D. Gonzalez, T. Nyama, J. Rhodes (R. Tshimanga 89'), H. Sereetsi (L. Daniels 88'), K. Mayo (J. Ah Shene 61').