Last-gasp Maema strike downs Chiefs

By Michael Madyira

Neo Maema rose from the bench to help Mamelodi Sundowns survive a Kaizer Chiefs scare and claim a 2-1 Premier Soccer League victory at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday.

Maema struck right at the death to grab the win after Ashley du Preez’s goal with six minutes remaining had cancelled Lucas Ribeiro Costa’s 21st-minute opener for Masandawana.

It was a second successive league victory for Sundowns while Chiefs are still winless in five straight PSL games dating back from the end of last season.

For the Tshwane giants’ coach Rhulani Mokwena, he remains unbeaten in the league since taking over last October.

Speedy winger Thapelo Maseko was handed his debut start for Sundowns while Mothobi Mvala stepped in for suspended Rivaldo Coetzee.

Chiefs coach Molefi Ntseki made three changes to the squad that started against Chippa United, bringing in Pule Mmodi, Siyethemba Sithebe and Du Preez.

The Brazilians started the match on the offensive, fired up by Maseko’s electric pace.

Chiefs were punished for a mistake when Edson Castillo’s backpass was intercepted by Themba Zwane for Peter Shalulile to set up Ribeiro who clinically finished for his second goal in as many league games.

The Brazilians continued to control the exchanges for the rest of the first half with Amakhosi doing little to shake the hosts’ defence.

After the restart, Chiefs became alive but Sundowns might have started regretting struggling to beat an unyielding Brandon Petersen in goals for their visitors.

With 14 minutes to go, Petersen blocked Maseko’s low shot with his legs while Marcello Allende pounced on the rebound but missed the target.

Having a slim lead, Sundowns were always sitting dangerously and the Soweto giants exploited that when Du Preez connected a cross from substitute Tebogo Potsane to level terms.

That goal appeared to have fired up the Soweto visitors who looked determined but their energy was quickly sapped.

A howler by Petersen allowed Maema to beat him, and Sundowns reclaimed their lead.

Pictured above: Mamelodi Sundowns celebrate Ribeiro’s goal

Image source: Mamelodi Sundowns


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