Spectacular Shalulile goal lights up Sundowns win against Royal AM

A spectacular goal by Peter Shalulile set up South African Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns for a 2-0 victory at relegation-threatened Royal AM on Tuesday.

The Namibian struck four minutes before half-time in eastern city Pietermaritzburg by leaping to slam a loose ball into the roof of the net.

It was the second time in four days that Shalulile netted against Royal — his goal last Saturday in Pretoria was the only one of the first league meeting between the clubs this season.

Ordinarily, Premiership sides would not play each other twice in such a short time, but Sundowns are playing catch-up after a number of postponed fixtures due to CAF Champions League matches.

Sundowns also struck the woodwork twice before Lesiba Nku doubled the lead with a unstoppable 74th-minute shot into the far corner past Cameroonian goalkeeper Hugo Nyame.

Shalulile, who captained Namibia at the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast, has underperformed this season by his high standards, but still scored eight league goals.

Sundowns wasted a chance to increase their lead deep in added time when Chilean Marco Allende blazed a penalty over the bar.

Veteran Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango — standing in for rested first choice Ronwen Williams — was a virtual spectator with Royal failing to get a single goal attempt on target.

Having won a seventh straight Premiership title last week, Sundowns are eyeing several records in the richest African national championship.

They need three points from three matches to reach 72 and break their record for the most in a season and, if they avoid losing, will become the first club to complete a season unbeaten.

Sundowns still have to face three top-half clubs — Stellenbosch and TS Galaxy away, and Cape Town City at home in the final round on May 25.

 

© Agence France-Presse

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Dylan Johnson