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Football | Absa Premiership

Richard Henyekane © Backpagepix

Sundowns end winless streak



Mamelodi Sundowns ended a 10-match winless streak in the Absa Premiership after they defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 at the Free State Stadium on Sunday afternoon through Richard Henyekanye’s first half strike.

The win sees the Brazilians move from the foot of the table and into 15th place, a spot above AmaZulu, whom they lead by a point.

The first 20 minutes of the match were rather quiet as both teams lacked the penetrative edge in the last third of the field to threaten either defence, with both keepers enjoying an early holiday.

In the 22nd minute the match sparked into life when a great through ball by Mduduzi Nyanda found Vuyani Ntanga on the edge of the box on the left channel and the striker unleashed a strike with his left foot, but Sundowns keeper Wayne Sandilands gathered the low shot.

On the half hour mark, there was the first shot in anger from Sundowns in the match as forward Samuel Julies controlled well to find space outside the box and his left footed strike was saved clumsily by Celtic keeper Patrick Tignyemb.

In the 33rd minute Jacky Motshegwa had a shot from the edge of the box and Sandilands did well to get down to save the curling shot that was going to the hit the target.

With Celtic enjoying a brief period of attack, they were caught out three minutes later when Downs took the lead. Julies sent a long ball from near the half way line and Henyekanye outsprinted his markers and slotted home with a right footed shot from the left side beyond Tignyemb.

With 15 minutes left the home side, cheered by their reliable and partisan fans, were in search of an equaliser as Bacela unleashed a shot but missed the target and his effort went wide after a series of chances.

With five minutes remaining Eleazar Rodgers dispossessed Ntanga and sent a ball to Henyankanye on the left, who beat Itumeleng Duiker for pace but there was no one on the far end to slot home.

The match ended with the visitors taking all three points but the sides will meet again in six days’ time at the Moses Mabhida Stadium for the Telkom Knockout final in Durban on Saturday night.

Bloemfontein Celtic 0

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 1 (Henyekanye 36’)

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Ntanga, Motlhaping, Lawler, Mahoa, Duiker, Motshegwa, Nyanda (Mogorosi 76’), Venter (Manzini 60’), Leonard, Nontshinga (Bacela 60’)

Mamelodi Sundowns: Sandilands, Langerman, Schut, Mabaso (Daniels 75’), Mampuru, Nyandoro, Kekana, Zwane, Henyekane, Manqele (Rodgers 69’), Julies

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