An excellent team goal was the difference between Mamelodi Sundowns and hosts Richards Bay on Wednesday at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban as Junior Mendieta scored his first goal for the reigning DStv Premiership champions in a 1-0 victory. The Argentine playmaker scored in the 11th minute to keep Sundowns perfect through five league matches. Sundowns will have a week-long break until their next match at Polokwane City.
Hosts Richards Bay were happy to concede possession but their defensive tactics allowed the KwaZulu Natal club to be dangerous on the counter attack. The action began early with new Sundowns signing Nku Lesiba missing a couple of excellent opportunities inside ten minutes, including a lofted shot over the bar in the 3rd minute following a poor giveaway by the Richards Bay defense.
Just after the opening ten minutes it was the favorites who displayed a trademark moment of quality to snatch the lead. Mendieta received a pass forty yards from goal and executed a slick backheel pass to Lucas Costa before embarking on a run into the box. The Brazilian returned the ball with a clever pass and Mendieta finished low past Richards Bay and Uganda national team goalkeeper Jamal Salim.
Richards Bay continued to pose a threat down the right flank but Sundowns keeper Ronwen Williams was up to the challenge, including a good reaction save to keep out Romario Dlamini’s header in the 21st minute. Nku missed another guilt-edged chance early in the second half but despite a strong effort, Richards Bay were unable to find the equalizer and trouble the champions.
Highlights from both of Wednesday’s matches are below. In the later match, Sekhukhune United defeated Cape Town City 1-0 away from home in a victory supporters of the club are familiar with at this point. Chibuike Ohizu headed in a cross from Elias Mokwana in the 6th minute and Brandon Truter’s side turned in another strong defensive performance to make the goal stand as the winner.