Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Edgar Manaka of Polokwane City at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, September 2 2020. Picture: SAMUEL SHIVAMBU/BACKPAGE PIX
Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Edgar Manaka of Polokwane City at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, September 2 2020. Picture: SAMUEL SHIVAMBU/BACKPAGE PIX

Mamelodi Sundowns ensured the league championship race will go down to the wire and be decided on the final day of the season on Saturday after a 3-0 win over Polokwane City at Loftus in Tshwane on Wednesday.

The Brazilians go into Saturday’s deciding round of fixtures equal on points (56) with leaders Kaizer Chiefs on the log but Amakhosi have a superior goal difference.

Chiefs stayed in the running for the title courtesy of their hard fought 1-0 win over Chippa United.

For Polokwane City, this defeat means they are on the brink of being automatically relegated to the National First Division as they have an inferior goal difference compared to Baroka FC, who are second from bottom.

The first notable chance of the game fell for City through Vusimuzi Mngomezulu, but his close-range shot was parried away to safety by Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene after nine minutes.

Sundowns responded swiftly with their own attack that resulted in Gaston Sirino delivering a dangerous cross into the penalty box, but Lebohang Maboe’s close-range header could not find the target.

Just after the half-hour mark, City goalkeeper George Chigova had to move off his line smartly to thwart the advancing Maboe, who once again benefited from Sirino’s supply.

Sundowns opened the score on 39 minutes through defender Anele Ngcongca. He blasted the ball into an empty net after Chigova failed to deal with Sirino’s corner-kick.

On the stroke of half-time Themba Zwane increased Sundowns’ lead by cutting the City defence like a hot knife through butter to finish with a well-taken left-foot shot after he was set up by Sirino.

Sundowns could have further stretched their lead just before the hour mark, but near-side assistant referee Elphas Sithole controversially judged Sirino had scored from an offside position.

The third goal arrived deep into referee’s optional time through Keletso Makgalwa as Sundowns narrowed the goal difference between them and Chiefs to three goals.

Sundowns complete their season against relegation-threatened Black Leopards at their adopted home at Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday while City will visit Bidvest Wits at FNB Stadium.

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