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Shalulile bags brace as Sundowns punish Pirates

Peter Shalulile of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates his goal with teammate

A second half brace by Peter Shalulile inspired Mamelodi Sundowns to a 2-0 victory over Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Terrence Dzvukamanja and Deon Hotto was named in Pirates' starting lineup in place of Ntsako Makhubela and Kabelo Dlamini, while Sundowns made one change as Thabiso Kutumela came in for Gaston Sirino.

Sundowns got off to a good start and dominated possession in the early stages of the game, while Pirates sat back and soaked up the pressure.

Themba Zwane should've handed Sundowns the lead in the 19th minute but the attacker fired his curling effort narrowly wide of the target from just outside the box.

The Buccaneers nearly broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Bandile Shandu was played through on goal before firing his effort towards goal but Denis Onyango was on hand to make the save.

Pirates were then forced to make a change after Dzvukamanja picked up an injury and was unable to continue, prompting Ntsako Makhubela to come on in his place.

Happy Jele wasted a golden opportunity to find the back of the net when he rose highest to latch on to Hotto's corner but the Pirates captain's header sailed wide of the target.

Sundowns had the ball in the back of the net in stoppage time when Peter Shalulile slotted the ball home but he was denied by the referee flagging him for offside as the game went into the break level at 0-0.

Pirates keeper Mpontshane was called into action early in the second half when he was forced off his line to cut out a long ball from Sundowns.

Sundowns eventually took the lead after 53 minutes when Kutumela beat his markers on the wing before cutting the ball back to Shalulile, who fires his effort in off the crossbar from inside the box.

Lyle Lakay had a chance to double Sundowns' lead four minutes later but he could only blaze his strike into the side netting.

The Buccaneers nearly found the equalising goal just before the hour mark when Pule forced a deflection off De Reuck, but Onyango made a good save to stop what would have been an own goal.

Sundowns made their first two substitutions of the game in the 63rd minute as Kermit Erasmus and Themba Zwane was taken off and replaced by Pavol Šafranko and Haashim Domingo 

Shalulile then completed his brace in the 71st minute after he found the back of the net with a superb finish from a tight angle to make it 2-0 to Sundowns.

Onyango came to his side rescue in the 82nd minute when he produced a fine save from point-blank range to deny Mabasa before the Sundowns keeper made another save to tip Dlamini's effort over the crossbar two minutes later.

Pirates pushed forward in the closing stages of the game as they looked to pull a goal back but failed to make the most of their chances and were forced to endure a defeat on home soil at the hands of Sundowns.