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City score late win to keep title race wide open

It was an enthralling night of football in the Mother City where the home team came out as deserved winners despite going a goal down early in the match.

Cape Town City's Thato Mokeke. Picture: Twitter/@capetowncityfc

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City moved within a point of the summit of the Absa Premiership table after coming from behind to beat Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 at the Athlone Stadium on Tuesday.

It was an enthralling night of football in the Mother City where the home team came out as deserved winners despite going a goal down early in the match.

As expected the two heavyweights felt each other out in the opening 10 minutes with Masandawana, who enjoyed quick and neat passing exchanges, eventually looking the slicker of the two sides.

The first chance fell to Tebogo Langerman, but Peter Leewemburgh and Taariq Fielies smothered him before he could get his shot away and give Downs the lead.

Not long after, Lebogang Maboe opened the scoring after an incisive ball from Emiliano Tade. Maboe made no mistake in front of goal, to put the Brazilians into the lead. It was Maboe's seventh goal of the season.

Going a goal down immediately stirred City from their attacking slumber. They saw more territory and possession as their confidence grew.

Halfway through the first 45, Siphelele Mthembu should have equalised for the home team. A smooth Thato Mokeke turn in midfield led to a well-timed Kermit Erasmus through ball, but Mthembu could not find the target, Musa Lebusa did well to put him off but it was big let off for Sundowns.

Then, the dangerous Erasmus fired two warnings shots just before the break, but both were off target. It was indicative of City’s growing confidence, although Masandawana took a 1-0 lead in halftime.

The second half picked up from where the first half ended, with City high on confidence and doing the majority of the attacking.

Soon after that in the 51st minute they were rewarded when Erasmus fired a volley from close range to beat Mweene and equalise for City; they deserved it for the endeavour.

The goal helped Sundowns spring into lifeAt first, there was beautiful interplay between Tade and Zwane but the latter’s low effort struck the up right.

Soon after Tade was industrious down the right flank and picked out a lovely square ball to find Langerman. The left back’s sweet right-footed shot from close range was met with form resistance from City keeper Leeuwenburgh, an amazing reaction save from the Dutchman.

Into the last ten minutes and City skipper Thami Mkhize attempted a long-range effort but his stinging shot was palmed away by Mweene in the Downs goals.

Substitute Chris David also had a right-footed shot well saved by Mweene, and the Dutchman showed some good chemistry with his teammates in a slick passing movement to create the opening.

David didn’t have to wait long for another chance as City received a free kick just outside the box. David struck it sweetly, getting it up and over the wall and easily past Mweene to give the home team a dramatic lead.

It stayed that way and City were full value for their 2-1 win. After conceding in the first half the Citizens were undoubtedly the better side for the rest of the match.

In the night's other result, Orlando Pirates drew 1-1 with Bloemfontein Celtic.

Pirates go top, level on points with Sundowns but City are only a point back in what looks like an exciting title race.