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Mamelodi Sundowns beat Free State Stars to retain PSL title

Phakamani Mahlambi scored the only goal of the game as Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned Absa Premiership champions.

Picture: PSL.

JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns have triumphed over Free State Stars 1-0 to retain the PSL title.

Phakamani Mahlambi scored the only goal of the game as Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned Absa Premiership champions.

The 21-year-old scored on the stroke of half time to clinch the title.

Kick off in Bethlehem was delayed by 10 minutes due to overcrowding at Goble Park as an expectant Sundowns fan base piled into the stadium.

The game got off to a bright start with Sundowns putting the pressure on in the early stages.

Free State Stars weathered the early storm and started to create chances of their own with Dennis Onyango forced to make a double save half way through the first half.

Sundowns were dealt a massive blow shortly after that as Gaston Sirino went off with a groin injury with 10 minutes to go until half time.

Mahlambi came on in his stead and repaid the manager's faith on the stroke of half time, slotting the ball into the bottom corner after some good interplay around the edge of the box.

Downs would hold on to that lead heading into the tunnel.

Until that goal from Mahlambi, Orlando Pirates were on course to win the league after leading Polokwane City 3-0 at the break.

Free State Stars were set for automatic relegation and came out firing in the second half.

They dominated the early exchanges of the second stanza and had a goal disallowed for hand ball in the 58th minute.

Sundowns had a chance to kill the game in the 66th minute but Roy Mahamutsa made a goal saving tackle.

Masandawana used all their experience to kill the game and limited the hosts to long range efforts.

The result also means Free State Stars have been relegated from the PSL.

Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates beat Polokwane City 3-0 at the Orlando Stadium but it was not enough as Sundowns' victory and ensured they retained the title by 2 points.

ORLANDO PIRATES VS POLOKWANE CITY

Orlando Pirates were looking for nothing but three points on the final day of the league season to give themselves a chance at lifting the title for the first time in seven seasons and they didn’t waste time.

Thembinkosi Lorch got the ball rolling with the first of his two goals on the day when he slid the ball past Lehlohonolo Phali in the Polokwane City goal after what seemingly was an offside ball from Augustine Mulenga in the 6th minute of the match.

Pirates weren’t done there as minutes later Vincent Pule scored a cracker from just outside the box. The forward received an inaccurate pass but was allowed to get control of the ball, turn and let rip to double the Buccaneers lead.

It went from bad to worse for the visiting Polokwane City as they conceded a third before the half time break.

Mulenga and Pule combined again with the Zambian marksman adding a sublime assist for the Bafana Bafana star who finished with aplomb to complete his brace.

Pirates have, however, secured a place in next season's CAF Champions League.

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