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Football | Absa Premiership

Katlego Mphela © Backpagepix

Downs continue league recovery



Mamelodi Sundowns continued their steady climb towards the top half of the Premiership table on Saturday night, stretching their unbeaten run to three matches under new coach Pitso Mosimane.

Dutchman Alje Schut scored in the first half and Katlego Mphela struck in the second, as the Brazilians secured a 2-0 win over Wits at Bidvest Stadium.

The visitors threatened from the start, with Wits goalkeeper Ryan Harrison forced into action as early as the fourth minute, keeping out a thunderbolt from Mphela.

Matthew Pattison had perhaps the best chance of the first period for the hosts in the 19th minute, but after turning cleverly and skipping past the Downs defence, he fired narrowly wide to the left.

Three minutes later, Downs took the lead when Schut connected with a header from a Tebogo Langerman corner to put the visitors in front.

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A charging Nyasha Mushekwi had an opportunity to stretch the gap shortly before the interval, but he stumbled over Harrison and fluffed the attempt.

Harrison was again called to action nine minutes after the break, keeping out a low, left-footed strike from Mushekwi.

Wits had a rare chance two minutes later but Method Mwanjali saved a deflected shot from Ryan Chapman on the line, producing a bicycle kick to keep the ball out.

Calvin Kadi also came close, on the hour mark, as the hosts went in search of the equaliser, but Sundowns goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands dived to the left and got a hand to his close-range effort.

Mphela scored from the edge of the area with 23 minutes remaining, bagging his second goal in as many matches after returning from a long-term injury, and his strike seemed to rip the wind from the home team's sails.

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