Sundowns eliminated ten-man Chiefs to seal another title

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Written By Maya Cantina

Rulani Mokwena’s men hammered Amakhosi 5-1 at the FNB Stadium.

It’s hard to know who can stop Mamelodi Sundowns, who claimed their seventh consecutive DStv Premiership title on Thursday, a 5-1 win over Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium sealing the deal with six games remaining.

Certainly not Cavin Johnson’s Amakhosi, who are 29 points adrift of Sundowns, and who only prevented the inevitable here after defender Given Msimango was sent off for a professional foul in just the 19th minute.

Sundowns are also now a game closer to an ‘unbeaten’ Premiership season, and could complete a league and cup double, with a Nedbank Cup semi-final against Stellenbosch on Sunday.

Rulani Mokwena was able to rest the likes of Peter Shalulile and Ronwen Williams for this match and still win, Sundowns recovered after a lifeless first half display, to kill Amakhosi with goals from Tashreeq Matthews, Mathias Esquivel, Lucas Ribeiro and Thembinkosi Lorch.

Referee Abongile Tom found himself in the middle of a struggling first half, with two crucial decisions going in Sundowns’ favour.

In the tenth minute, Neo Maema made a challenge on Edson Castillo and caught the Chiefs midfielder’s shin. It looked like a bad over-challenge and could have easily seen Maema sent off, but Tom was only shown a yellow card.

The referee then produced a red card in the 19th minuteth minutes, when Lucas Ribeiro mounted a quick counter-attack, and was clumsily brought down by Given Msimango on goal. The decision, despite protests from the Chiefs, appeared to be the right one, and an already difficult task became almost impossible for Johnson’s side.

Despite this, they battled resolutely, with Sundowns creating few chances in the first half. Masandawana’s best chance of the opening half fell to Matthews, thanks to a superb pass from Lorch.

Bruce Bvuma, however, raced out of his line to stop Matthew’s effort, and also parried Lorch’s follow-up.

Chiefs even carved out a chance of their own on the stroke of half-time, Pule Mmodi producing a fine back pass for Reeve Frosler, but defender Mosa Lebusa blocked his powerful shot.

The sunset was starting to light up

Sunset came out in the second half with more shots to their stomachs, and Bvuma did well to deny Esquivel’s piledriver.

At 52And However, a minute later, Sundowns were ahead, Ribeiro found Matthews, and this time he made no mistake for his third league goal since joining Sundowns in January.

In 57th minutes, the game was going well as Esquivel danced into the penalty area, and beat Bvuma with the help of a healthy deflection. It was the Argentinian’s first goal in the top flight for Sundowns and his second in all competitions.

Matthews added another goal in the 82nd minute, racing clear and smashing the ball past Bvuma.

Chiefs were awarded a penalty five minutes from time, for pushing substitute Mduduzi Shabalala, who stepped up and provided a consolation for Amakhosi.

But it was Ribeiro and Lorch who had the final say, Ribeiro scoring from the edge of the box, and Lorch scoring the fifth, before being mobbed by his jubilant teammates.

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