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SA SOCCER NEWS
Sundowns off to a winning start 25/08/04
Mamelodi Sundowns got their Castle Premiership season off to a perfect start with a 2-0 win over Santos in a thrilling match at Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night.

Touchline Photo

Clement Mazibuko gave the Brazilians the lead on the stroke of half-time, with Siaka Tiene sealing the match with superb solo effort three minutes from the end.

'The People's Team' got the match underway and made their intentions clear from the start with Tyren Arendse attacking the Sundowns defence.

However, it was the visitors who penetrated more displaying their famous carpet football early, with new signing Peter Ndlovu displaying touches of class throughout the match.

Sundowns enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half, but failed to deliver the killer pass in the final third of the pitch.

To add to their woe, striker Daniel Mudau constantly strayed offside, much to the frustration of Sundowns head coach Paul Dolezar.

For Santos Thembile Kanono was impressive in the middle of the park and could have been assisted better by Ricardo Manetti, who looked like he was tiring rapidly as the game wore on.

Sundowns were duly rewarded for all their possession when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the area following a foul by Kamaal Sait on Peter Ndlovu.

Up stepped Mazibuko to curl the ball into the top corner of the far post, leaving Santos keeper Ryan Wuest no chance.

The home side started the second period with more urgency in search for an equaliser, with skipper Musa Otieno heading an Arendse cross just wide.

Santos had the better of the possession in the second half, but failed to penetrate the resolute Sundowns defence.

The home side had the ball in the back of the net midway through the half when Lebohang Kukame ran onto a Otieno latched onto an Otieno flick to stab the ball home, but the striker was adjudged to have strayed offside.

Santos were imposing themselves on the match with Sundowns relying on counter-attacks.

It was on one of these attacks, in the 87th minute, that they extended their lead when skipper Brian Baloyi found Mazibuko with a quick throw-out and the winger played Siaka Tiene into space, and the midfielder surged down the right flank before beating Kanono inside the area to fire the ball past Wuest at the near post to put the tie beyond doubt.

The result leaves Santos third from bottom and they will be looking to get back on track when they travel to Wits in a weeks' time, while Sundowns are third from top and take on Swallows this weekend.

 

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