South Africa

Shalulile on target as Sundowns unbeaten run continues

Peter Shalulile

Peter Shalulile struck late as Mamelodi Sundowns registered a narrow 1-0 victory over Royal AM at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium on Saturday night.

ALSO READ: Sundowns Ladies to take part in Women’s Cup in USA

It was a game where the visiting team parked the bus and frustrated the Brazilians for the majority of the game.

Shalulile who had a rather quiet game delivered when it mattered most by scoring the only goal of the match with a diving header from a Lesiba Nku cross in the 85th minute.

Sundowns’ unbeaten run remains intact after 26 matches and the invincible dream is still alive with only four matches left to play in the league.

There was nothing to write home about in the first half with the game played at a passive pace. Sundowns tried to find openings but they were predictable in their approach and Royal AM’s defence was never really troubled.

Apart from a few half chances, there was no fluidity about Sundowns’ passing game. They also needed to up the tempo in the second half if they were to get maximum points. 

Shalulile should have opened the scoring shortly after the break but his effort sailed over the bar following a cutback from the right by Thembinkosi Lorch. A couple of erratic passes in midfield clearly irritated Masandawana coach Rulani Mokwena who made four changes on the hour mark.

The crowd on the main stand was also getting a frustrated with the team’s showing in Atterdigeville. Rivaldo Coetzee, Khuliso Mudau, Tashreeq Matthews and Sipho Mbule were recalled to the bench. In an attempt change things around, Mokwena brought on the quartet of Bathusi Aubaas, Zuko Mdunyelwa, Matias Esquivel, Junior Mendieta.

On the far stand, the drum-beating Sundowns faithful tried their outmost to spur their team on. At has been a gruelling season for the league champions and understandably, the legs are starting to give in a little bit.

ALSO READ: 10-man Spurs hold SuperSport to a frustrating draw

Nku who replaced Lorch failed to get his head on the end of Neo Maema cross. I slight touch would have seen him break the deadlock but he missed the ball completely with an attempted diving header.

Just when it looked like Royal AM had done enough to leave Tshwane with a point, Shalulile had other ideas and headed home with a well-taken header five minutes from time. Sundowns will travel to KwaZulu-Natal to again face Thwihli Thwahla on Tuesday.