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Mamelodi Sundowns edge closer to retaining title after routine win over TS Galaxy

Johannesburg — Mamelodi Sundowns tightened their grip at the top of the Premiership table after beating TS Galaxy 2-1 at their own backyard on a cool Tuesday night.

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Rushine De Reuck and Peter Shalulile scored for Sundowns, who lead the title race by 19 points and are one point shy of the whopping 50-point mark.

In the greater scheme of things, this win meant that they extended their winning streak to 13 league games in a row — a record in local football.

Meanwhile, Galaxy found the consolation goal courtesy of Djakaridja Traore’s late penalty, extending their winless streak to five matches since the restart.

A win for Tim Sukazi’s club would have seen them close in on the top-eight. But they unfortunately remained 12th on the table after 18 matches.

After setting a record in the local top-flight, becoming the first team to win 12 league games in a row last week, Sundowns wanted to scratch more surfaces.

And such is the depth in this Sundowns’ team, coach Rhulani Mokwena made eight changes to the team that beat Kaizer Chiefs at FNB on Saturday night.

The work was cut out for Sundowns’ makeshift team, though, as Galaxy came into this game being one of the only two teams that have beaten them so far.

With that result lingering at the back of their minds, the Brazilians were not leaving any stone unturned as they launched an attack at goal from the onset.

Gaston Sirino was the closest player that came close to finding the lead as his curling effort went wide off the target, with keeper Melusi Buthelezi worried.

The Brazilians didn’t drop their heads, though, as they continued their search for a breakthrough. And it came courtesy of defender Rushine De Reuck.

The centre-back rose high in the box to connect with Sirino’s corner-kick as he headed home. But that was catastrophic as he sustained a concussion.

After the resultant head collision with Djakaridja Traore, De Reuck spent some time on the ground before he was stretched off to the medical room.

Chances continued to be few and far in between for The Rockets. But they also dealt with a set-back after the returning Buthelezi injured himself.

The Bafana Bafana third choice was subsequently replaced by Vasilije Kolak who was making his third appearance in a row and first from the bench.

Sundowns went into the break with the slender advantage. A feat that must have been stressful for Mokwena after his troops failed to create chances.

Early in the second half, though, Sirino had a chance to double that tally after a cut-back from Thapelo Morena in front of goal, but he ballooned his shot.

With the progression of the second half, the Rockets started to see more of the ball. But that fire was extinguished by Sundowns who found their second.

Sipho Mbule found Sirino who sent a cut-back which came off Pogiso Sanoka Shalulile slotted into an empty net the loose ball for his eighth goal of the term.

The Rockets put one back from the spot though deep in stoppage time after Sundowns’ goalkeeper Denis Onyango fouled Orebotse Mongae in his box.

And that’s how things ended as the Brazilians, who were crowned the Q1 and Q1 winners by the PSL earlier today, continue to win week in and week out.

@Mihlalibaleka

IOL Sport

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