Sundowns regain lead in South Africa as ref escorted to safety

JOHANNESBURG – Sphelele Mkhulise scored his first South African Premiership goal this season to give Mamelodi Sundowns a 1-0 win over Marumo Gallants on Wednesday that takes them top again.

The forward swept the ball past Zimbabwean goalkeeper Washington Arubi from close range after 28 minutes at Loftus Versfeld, a Pretoria stadium his team share with the Bulls rugby side.

Marumo, who sank to last place after the loss, had a last-minute goal correctly disallowed for offside, but the visitors were furious at the decision.

Many of the losing players surrounded the referee when he blew for full-time, forcing security officials to enter the field and escort the match officials to safety.

Marumo coach Dan Malesela refused to comment on the offside decision, while Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena said he "feared being fined by the league" if he discussed it.

Seeking a sixth straight Premiership title and 13th overall, Sundowns reclaimed top spot with 22 points from 10 matches, ahead of promoted Richards Bay on goal difference.

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SuperSport United had risen above Sundowns on Tuesday thanks to a 2-0 win at Stellenbosch courtesy of goals from Jamie Webber and Bradley Grobler.

It was the sixth goal of the season for Grobler, who shares first place in the Golden Boot race with Namibian Peter Shalulile of Sundowns and Burundian Caleb Bimenyimana of Kaizer Chiefs.

After Sundowns and Richards Bay come SuperSport on 20 points, Orlando Pirates with 19 and Chiefs on 18.

Richards Bay edged Cape Town City 1-0 in Durban through an added-time own-goal by Lyle Lakay, who is on loan from Sundowns.

After a shock loss to Chippa United last weekend, Chiefs trailed TS Galaxy for 40 minutes in Johannesburg before Keagan Dolly scored direct from a free-kick to salvage a 2-2 draw.

Ashley du Preez gave Chiefs an early lead only for Galaxy to hit back with goals from former Chiefs icon Bernard Parker and Ivorian Djakaridja Traore before half-time.

On Tuesday, unpredictable Pirates gave one of their best performances this season to defeat Golden Arrows 2-0 in Durban thanks to a Monnapule Salang brace.

Artmotion S.Africa

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