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Sundowns draw level with Pirates after win over Chippa

The reigning league champions are playing catch-up in the league because of their positive progress in the CAF Champions League.

Sundowns are now two points ahead of Orlando Pirates going into the final round of PSL matches this weekend. Picture: Twitter/@Masandawana

JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns drew level with Orlando Pirates at the summit of the Absa Premiership table following a 3-1 win over Chippa United at Loftus on Tuesday afternoon.

The reigning league champions are playing catch-up in the league because of their positive progress in the CAF Champions League. They came into the Chippa match fresh from a 2-1 over Baroka at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium during the Easter weekend.

On the other side Chippa were facing problems of their own.

Earlier in the day their chief executive Morgan Mammila tendered his resignation at the club, barely four months fater having taken over. The Chillie Boys didn't look deterred by the news and were the first to get onto the score sheet. They had a beautiful flowing move down the right-hand flank before Captain Mark Mayambela was allowed to turn and shoot inside the box to open the scoring.

Chippa's lead was short-lived though as the Brazilians won a set-piece in a dangerous area. Gaston Sirino's delivery into the box found his captain Hlompho Kekana whose powerful header cannoned into the back of the net to draw level at the halftime break.

Sundowns grew in confidence at the resumption and quickly went into the lead for the first time in the match. Tebogo Langerman went on a marauding run down the left side before pulling the ball back for Sibusiso Vilakazi to tap in.

The Brazilians soon had a two-goal cushion. Sirino drilled the ball low past the keeper to make it three but Chippa - who have shown a lot of spirit in recent times - ensured that it would be a tense last four minutes when Rulani Manzini pulled one back to make it 3-2.

Sundowns were able to hold on for the victory that now draws them level at the top of the table with Pirates on 50 points. The Buccaneers have an opportunity to stretch that lead on Wednesday when they take on bottom of the table Maritzburg United while Sundowns jet off to Morocco to take on Wydad Casabanca in their Champions League first leg semifinal on Friday.