Chiefs score twice in two minutes to end Sundowns’ 21-game unbeaten run


Johannesburg (AFP) – Leaders Mamelodi Sundowns surrendered a 21-match unbeaten South African Premiership run since the season began last October when losing 2-1 at home to mid-table Kaizer Chiefs Sunday.

Uruguayan Gaston Sirino gave the frontrunners a 35th-minute lead in Pretoria only for the home side to concede twice in two minutes midway through the second half. 

Mosa Lebusa conceded an own-goal on 72 minutes when his deflection of a cross from Serb Samir Nurkovic left Ugandan goalkeeper Dennis Onyango helpless to prevent it entering the net.

Rattled Sundowns had not recovered when a superb pass down the middle from Njabulo Blom sent Dumisani Zuma clear and he fired a low shot into the corner of the net.

Defending champions Sundowns remain on top with 47 points, but their lead over second-place AmaZulu has been trimmed to three points.

Sundowns do have two matches in hand over their closest rivals, but with co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi warning that his team are becoming tired, there is no guarantee those extra matches will translate into points.

“We have played far too many matches in a short space of time. Fatigue is beginning to show. We have lacked sharpness lately,” said Mngqithi.

The Pretoria outfit were stunned by lowly TTM in an FA Cup semi-final last Sunday and drew with AmaZulu three days later, while failing to score in either match. 

Sundowns have eight league matches to play as they chase a record fourth straight Premiership title and Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt does not see any challenger overtaking them.

“They have so many quality players to choose from, especially up front, that I cannot see anyone stopping them,” he said.

Hunt then hailed his own team, who rose three places to eighth as they avenged a three-goal hammering from Sundowns on the opening weekend of the season.

“We deserved something for the determination we showed. The boys were a bit down after losing in midweek and we had to field several in positions they are unused to.

“But we counter-attacked well and should have scored more goals given the number of three-versus-three situations we created.” 

Third-place Golden Arrows are two points behind fellow Durban club AmaZulu after drawing 0-0 away to second-last Chippa United in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). 

On Saturday, former Chiefs and Orlando Pirates forward Lehlohonolo Majoro scored twice within nine minutes to give AmaZulu a 2-1 home victory over mid-table TS Galaxy.

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