Khama Billiat double extends Mamelodi Sundowns' PSL lead
Khama Billiat gave a reminder of his quality with two magnificent free-kicks as Premier Soccer League heavyweights Mamelodi Sundowns brushed aside Platinum Stars 3-0 to extend their lead at the top of the table on Saturday.
Sundowns are four points ahead of second-placed Cape Town City, who were 1-0 winners over bitter city rivals Ajax Cape Town, and have extended their advantage over Free State Stars, who lost 3-0 at home to Maritzburg United.
Sundowns did all their damage in the opening 37 minutes against bottom side Dikwena, as Sibusiso Vilakazi gave them the lead with a fine curling effort from the edge of the box.
Billiat bagged his first midway through the first half with a free-kick from 22 yards that arrowed into the back of the net.
It was a case of déjà vu for Stars shortly afterwards, when Billiat repeated the feat with a second goal from a set-piece, leaving Stars keeper Dino Visser with no chance once more.
Sundowns were comfortable in the second half, and coach Pitso Mosimane was able to give three players their debut, bring on Aubrey Ngoma, Uruguayan forward Gaston Sirino and New Zealand striker Jeremy Broke.
Cape Town City deservedly claimed the points in a feisty Ikapa Derby in Cape Town, as winger Craig Martin scored the only goal of the game shortly after halftime as he headed home Ayanda Patosi's fine cross.
City had numerous other opportunities to double their advantage, while relegation threatened Ajax offered little going forward. They were also hampered by a first-half red card for Zimbabwean midfielder Gerald Takwara.
A curious incident with 10 minutes remaining sparked a melee that saw City coach Benni McCarthy sent to the stands.
Kwanda Mngonyama came on for his home City debut from the bench, but the player he was supposed to replace, Martin, stayed on the field.
City temporarily had 12 players on the pitch until the Ajax bench pointed out the error and vociferously called for cards to be issued.
That sparked the ire of the City bench as McCarthy left his technical area to confront his opposite number Muhsin Ertugral.
Both coaches had to be restrained in disappointing scenes that was more 'handbags' than the threat of any genuine violence.
Orlando Pirates rescued a point late on against Polokwane City when 17-year-old Lyle Foster fired home with three minutes remaining for his first professional goal in a 1-1 draw at the Orlando stadium.
Zimbabwe striker Dominic Chungwa had put Polokwane ahead in the first half with a fine volley.
Maritzburg claimed an excellent 3-0 win at high-flying Stars, as goals from Belgian forward Andrea Filecci, Evans Rusike and Bandile Shandu lifted them to fourth in the table.
AmaZulu eased their relegation woes with a precious 2-0 home win over SuperSport United.
They took the lead through 40-year-old Siyabonga Nomvethe, before a horrible mistake from SuperSport goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse saw him pass the ball straight to Ovidy Karuru, who netted a second for Usuthu.