Mamelodi Sundowns ended a five-match winless streak in the league in scintillating style with a 5-0 hammering of Tshwane rivals SuperSport United at a wet Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Thursday night.
The performance was a perfect response by Pitso Mosimane’s men, who have come under scrutiny in recent weeks after their last nine matches in all competitions which produced only two wins.
Two goals in the opening 18 minutes and another two before half time made it a very easy night for Sundowns against a SuperSport side that put up little resistance and offered very little threat in attack.
Looking to stamp their authority on proceedings, Masandawana had the SuperSport defence under all kinds of pressure early on and they could have scored twice in the opening three minutes, were it not for a lack of composure in front of goal by Percy Tau and some excellent goalkeeping from Reyaad Pieterse.
Sundowns’ blistering start was to pay dividends in the seventh minute when Tau’s cross deflected off Clayton Daniels and into the SuperSport net.
Matsatsantsa continued to look shell-shocked and were nearly 2-0 down on 13 minutes when Hlompho Kekana thudded a header into the crossbar.
The rampant Brazilians added their second goal in the 18th minute, Themba Zwane in the right place to stab the ball into the net after Tebogo Langerman’s cross had ricocheted around the box.
Mashaba then got in on the act in the 27th minute when Billiat’s clever back-heel allowed him to blaze in an angled shot from 10-yards out.
Billiat, a player in need of a confidence booster, turned from provider to scorer a minute before half time with an excellent right-footed shot which went in off the base of the far post.
Downs keeper Denis Onyango finally had some work to do when he kept out Daniels and Aubrey Modiba after the break, but the defending champions were in the mood and added their fifth goal just after the hour mark when Billiat got his second with a clinical finish at the near post after Langerman’s cross.
Apart from another header from Daniels which was saved by Onyango and an Anthony Laffor drive which Pieterse kept out, there was not too much action in the closing stages of the match.
The result leaves Sundowns seven points behind league leaders Cape Town City. With SuperSport coach Stuart Baxter linked to the Bafana job in recent weeks, his team have not won in their last four matches and have slipped to eight points off the pace.