Johannesburg — Lesiba Nku marked his first start for Mamelodi Sundowns with two goals in a 4-0 South African Premiership drubbing of Golden Arrows in Pretoria on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old close season signing from relegated Marumo Gallants struck the second and fourth goals with Namibian Peter Shalulile and Grant Kekana also netting.
Sundowns, seeking a seventh consecutive league title, were two goals ahead midway through the first half, led 3-0 at half-time, and scored again just three minutes into the second half.
A dominant performance against outclassed opponents gave table-toppers Sundowns a three-point lead over Cape Town City after just three rounds.
“Having been told that I was in the starting line-up, I promised coach Rulani (Mokwena) a goal, so I am thrilled to have scored twice,” said man-of-the-match award winner Nku.
A spectacular showing in front of the Yellow Nation to earn all 3⃣ points! 👆
Mamelodi Sundowns (17′ Shalulile, 21′,47′ Nku, 39′ Kekana) 4️⃣➖0️⃣ Golden Arrows #Sundowns #DownsLive #DStvPrem pic.twitter.com/WShoCkqGkj
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) August 15, 2023
Mokwena said: “We have played better, but I was encouraged by the way we took our chances. I liked the fact that two of our goals came after set pieces.”
Arrows co-coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi was frank: “We were terrible. The only consolation was that after a disastrous opening half, we improved slightly.”
The Durban club slipped two places to sixth after a draw, win and loss at the start of a 30-match league schedule.
In the other match, Orlando Pirates’ goal sprees ended as they were held 1-1 by Chippa United in the southern coastal city of Gqeberha, and lie fourth.
Pirates netted nine times in their last two matches, in the Premiership and a knockout competition, and took a 24th-minute lead through a close-range shot from Bandile Shandu.
☠️ FT || @ChippaUnitedFC 1 – 1 @orlandopirates
🥅 24′ Shandu
🎙 Goalscorer | Bandile Shandu
⚫️⚪️🔴⭐️#Matchday #DStvPrem#OrlandoPirates#OnceAlways pic.twitter.com/P2KmXSBKQ1
— Orlando Pirates (@orlandopirates) August 15, 2023
But Chippa, best known for constantly changing coaches and for narrow escapes from relegation, levelled on 65 minutes via a superb curved shot from former Pirates midfielder Goodman Mosele.
Zakhele Lepasa, who scored five of the nine goals in the last two outings, had a chance to secure maximum points but was foiled by the legs of Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili.
Chippa coach Morgan Mammila lamented “missing three clearcut scoring chances” while Pirates’ Spanish coach Jose Riveiro criticised his attackers for being “too predictable”.
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