Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns is challenged by Mohamed Ouattara of Al Hilal during the CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Hilal SC on February 13 2020 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/SYDNEY MAHLANGU
Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns is challenged by Mohamed Ouattara of Al Hilal during the CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Hilal SC on February 13 2020 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/SYDNEY MAHLANGU

The well-oiled Mamelodi Sundowns machine continues to roll on.

They remain unbeaten after 16 outings, with 10 wins and six draws, and they have opened a five-point lead at the top of the league standings after beating Baroka 2-0 on Wednesday at Loftus.

The Brazilians, who registered their third successive Premier Soccer League win, issued a strong message to the chasing pack of SuperSport United, Swallows, Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates that they are serious about defending their league title.

Baroka remain in 10th spot and under pressure from teams sitting below them on the log after a recent run of four matches without a win, which includes two losses and as many draws.

This victory for Sundowns was secured through second half goals by influential attackers Gaston Surino and Peter Shalulile, who took advantage of sloppy Baroka defending.

In the first half, the first notable chance came from Evidence Makgopa whose close range shot was saved by Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango after he received the ball from Thamsanqa Masiya.

Though they did not have many scoring chances, Sundowns enjoyed most of the possession with Sirino, Themba Zwane, Siphelele Mkhulise and Shalulile prominent.

On the other hand, Baroka relied on the counter attack with Makgopa, Gerald Phiri Jnr, Goodman Mosele and Manuel Kambala hoping to catch the Sundowns defence napping.

Baroka started the second half stronger as they attacked Sundowns and their notable chance was from Joslin Kamatuka who came agonisingly close shortly before the hour mark.

Sundowns reacted by opening the scoring after 62 minutes when Sirino shot the ball beyond the outstretched hands of Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze after he received a defence-splitting pass from Kermit Erasmus.

Five minutes later, Sundowns increased their lead when Shalulile pounced from inside the box for his seventh goal of the season after Chipezeze failed to clear the danger.

It could have been worse for Baroka a few minutes later as Erasmus watched in disbelief as his shot ricocheted off the upright after he connected with a well delivered cross from Lebohang Maboe.

Sundowns return to league action only in March as they have a trip to Algeria to take on CR Belouizdad in the Caf Champions League on Tuesday and the Nedbank Cup last 16 next week Saturday.

Baroka return to league action on Saturday when they host Black Leopards in the Limpopo derby at the Peter Mokaba Stadium where they will be desperate to return to winning ways.

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