Peter Shalulile’s stoppage-time winner moved the defending champions four points clear at the top

Mamelodi Sundowns came from behind to beat Stellenbosch FC 2-1 in a 2020-21 DStv Premiership match at Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Peter Shalulile’s stoppage-time winner moved the defending champions four points clear atop the league standings while Stellies remain in ninth spot. The hosts opened the scoring through Stanley Dimgba but second-half goals from Gaston Sirino and Shalulile, who has now scored four in three matches against the Maroons this season, led the Brazilians to all three points.

As predicted by Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena the encounter was every bit as open as it was entertaining with both teams creating a catalogue of chances in the early exchanges.

Sundowns dominated the early minutes, but Stellies grew into the match and opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark following a sustained spell of pressure. Ashley du Preez’s shot-cum-pass fell favourably at Dimgba’s feet and the Nigerian made no mistake as he continued his scoring streak.

Du Preez squandered a glorious chance of his own four minutes after the break – shooting wide of Denis Onyango’s post with the goal at his mercy – and he was made to rue that miss moments later as Sirino levelled matters.

Lebohang Maboe’s chip over the Stellies defensive line created space for Shalulile who calmly picked out Sirino and the Uruguayan was never going to miss as he fired the ball low past Sage Stephens.

The two teams cancelled each other out for much of the second-half but Du Preez had a chance to make amends in the 90th minute as Thapelo Morena coughed up possession in a dangerous area, but again he failed to find the target. This offered Sundowns a late chance to launch one final attack of their own and in the fifth minute of stoppage-time Shalulie put them in front.

The Namibia international’s heading ability is well documented and he proved his quality in the air once more, beating Robyn Johannes to Aubrey Modiba’s pin-point cross before nodding the ball home in what proved to be the final play of the match.

Stellenbosch FC (1) 1 (Dimgba 33′)Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 2 (Sirino 51′ Shalulile 90+4′)

Stellenbosch FC:Stephens; Van Heerden (Macheke 52′), De Goede (Robertson 66′), Johannes, Mthethwa (Johnson 78′), Sinkala, Jabaar, Mendieta (Skelem 78′), Van Rooyen, Du Preez, Dimgba (Nange 66′).

Mamelodi Sundowns:Onyango; Lakay (Modiba 84′), Nascimento, De Reuck, Morena, Coetzee, Maboe (Domingo 70′), Mkhulise (Jali 84′), Sirino (Erasmus 58′) [Affonso 69′], Zwane, Shalulile.

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