3 February 2018
Mamelodi Sundowns beat Cape Town City 1-0 on Friday night in the top of the log clash at Athlone Stadium.
City totally dominated the game but lacked thrust in the final third of the park. Khama Billiat scored the winner in the 48th minute after a great run on the left by Percy Tau, who did well to get a cross in to Billiat who showed great technique to put away a thunderous volley. That sent the large contingent of Sundowns fans into a frenzy and broke the hearts of the home supporters.
To their credit, City kept attacking and crisp passing by former Downs star, Teko Modise, Roland Putsche and later Ayanda Patosi, along with the pace and guile on the left flank by left back Edmilson Dove and winger Lyle Lackay, tested the Brazilians’ defense throughout. However, the home team failed to create clear cut opportunities and were forced to try from long range. The closest they came to scoring was in the 86th minute when substitute Patosi’s effort from range was tipped over the bar by Denis Onyango, the Sundowns keeper.
Earlier, the visitor’s coach, Pitso Mosimani, was sent off the field by referee Victor Gomes after complaining about a free kick that was awarded to City following a foul on winger, Craig Martin. Mosimani had to watch the rest of the game from the stands where City coach, Benni McCarthy, was already watching from as a result of a suspension following his sending off in the iKapa derby.
Mr Gomes was the centre of controversy following an incident before halftime just outside the Sundowns box when Onyango heavily brought down Thabo Nodada. Most officials would have probably sent Onyango packing but Gomes only produced a yellow card to the dismay of the City fans. Nodada was stretchered off the field and also received several stitches to a gash on his leg and had to be replaced by Patosi.
The match ended in disappointing fashion when City captain, Robyn Johannes, was given a yellow card after a challenge on Tau. Johannes then remonstrated with Gomes and was subsequently given another yellow and his marching orders. Johannes, who is moving to Bidvest Wits at the end of the season, then sarcastically applauded the ref and stormed off the field fuming.
Sundowns now has a 7 point lead over the second placed City on 31 points after 20 games with Kaizer Chiefs one point behind the Citizens but with a game in hand.
Cape Town City will have to work on their discipline in the weeks to come if they want to be serious title contenders. McCarthy will return from suspension but now their captain will be sidelined for two games.
Also, a genuine goal scoring striker, much like McCarthy was in his hey day, is still missing from the City set-up.
City now travel to Chiefs on 17 February and then play host to Wits seven days later.