Mamelodi Sundowns battle past Richards Bay

Mamelodi Sundowns battle past Richards Bay

Mamelodi Sundowns stuttered to an unconvincing 1-0 win over Richards Bay FC in Premiership action at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday.

It was a quiet start to the match with little action of interest in the opening quarter of an hour apart from Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Bongani Zungu's effort from range which went high and wide.

Richards Bay were not looking like a side winless in their last 11 fixtures but it was still Sundowns controlling the ball.

Zungu's headed attempt in the 21st minute drew a save from the keeper before the Natal Rich Boyz almost scored when they broke swiftly on the counter on the right after Thapelo Morena had been careless in possession with Sanele Barns bringing a parried save out of Masandawana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

Morena dusted himself off and four minutes later gave the Brazilians the lead. A cross into the area from Siphelele Mkhulise pinballed around the box, hit Sandile Mthethwa in the face and fell favourably for Morena to half-volley past the goalkeeper from eight yards out.

Downs suffered a twin blow on the half-hour mark as both Cassius Mailula and Abubeker Nasir came off injured and were replaced by Gaston Sirino and Thabiso Kutumela. Sirino and Kutumela almost made an instant impact as they combined well before the latter's shot was saved.

Mkhulise flashed an effort across the face of goal on the stroke of half-time before Musa Lebusa had to be at his most alert in the 50th minute to clear Barns' effort off the line after Memela had drawn the goalkeeper and squared for Barns.

Richards Bay were giving Sundons plenty of headaches and almost equalised from their seventh corner of the match when it was delivered to Ntsundwana at the back post, who teed up Mathebula and the midfielder's effort crashed off the crossbar and away.

The Brazilians were looking ragged from having to compete on four fronts and were relying on some last-ditch defending and a bit of luck to keep the unrelenting pressure from Richards Bay at bay. However, it was not to be for the Natal Rich Boyz, who have now gone 12 matches without a win.