Mamelodi Sundowns thrashed a hapless Stellenbosch FC side 3-0 in a Premier Soccer League encounter which was played at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday evening.
An early goal by Neo Maema handed Masandawana the lead before Peter Shalulile netted his fourth goal of the season to double the PSL champions' lead. The victory was sealed by Marcelo Allende who marked his debut for Masandawana with a victory.
The big news ahead of this match was the announcement of Allende as Sundowns' new signing and he was named among the substitutes. Masandawana were hoping to bounce back to winning ways after being held to a 1-1 draw by Sekhukhune United on Saturday.
Their visitors, Stellenbosch were undefeated in the current season having drawn 1-1 against Cape Town City in the Cape Derby encounter on Saturday. Junior Mendieta and Fawaaz Basadien, who were in top form, started for Stellies as they looked to upset Masandawana once again having thrashed the Tshwane giants 3-0 in their last meeting in May this year.
However, Stellies conceded just two minutes into the game after a good move by the home side. Maema hit the back of the net from close range to make it 1-0 to Sundowns with the visitors' defence caught ball watching. The two-footed player was opening his scoring account for the current campaign.
Despite being under pressure, Stellies were able to launch a few attacks with Basadien forcing goalkeeper Ronwen Williams into a fine save. Sundowns suffered a blow when one of their star attackers, Gaston Sirino went down injured and he was replaced by eventual Man of the Match Thapelo Morena who injected some speed into Masandawana's attack.
The speedy player was involved when Sundowns took a 2-0 lead in the 41st minute after another good move by the hosts. Morena set up Shalulile who made no mistake - firing past goalkeeper Sage Stephens to double Sundowns' lead heading into the half-time break in Tshwane.
Masandawana continued their dominance after the restart and they threatened through Rushine de Reuck whose header was fantastically tipped over the crossbar by Stephens. At the other end, Sibongiseni Mthethwa forced Williams into a smart save after a quick counterattack by Stellies.
Co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena decided to make changes as they introduced Allende and Sipho Mbule. It took Allende just seven minutes to score on debut with the diminutive attacker firing past Stephens with a low shot to extend Sundowns' lead to 3-0 with 14 minutes left on the clock.
The goal sealed Sundowns' 3-0 victory and the Tshwane giants climbed to the top of the league standings ahead of their MTN8 quarter-final match against SuperSport United on Sunday. Stellenbosch, on the other hand, remained eighth on the league table ahead of their MTN8 quarter-final clash with Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.