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09:25    23 Dec 2016

Absa Premiership midweek wrap: Sundowns return with a win

Mamelodi Sundowns returned to the Absa Premiership with a narrow win on Thursday to wrap up a full set of midweek fixtures. South Africa’s top flight will now go into a lengthy recess, with SuperSport United, Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City all sitting on 25 points at the summit of the log.

‘Downs secured their win away to Baroka thanks to a late goal from Hlompho Kekana, wrapping up a great 2016 which saw them win both the domestic title and the CAF Champions League. Their match in Polokwane on Thursday was their first since returning from the Club World Cup in Japan and the result leaves them just six points from the summit despite playing five games less than the leaders.

The round’s action got underway on Tuesday night, with the headline fixture a 2-1 away win for Bloemfontein Celtic over Soweto giants Orlando Pirates. Tshepo Rikhotso scored the decisive goal for the Free State side in injury time, condemning the Buccaneers to their first home loss of the season.

Elsewhere, Bidvest Wits rose to top spot on goal difference thanks to a 1-1 draw away to 10-man Maritzburg United, while Highlands Park and Platinum Stars played to an entertaining 2-2 draw in Tembisa which saw the visitors recover from a two-goal deficit.

The early game on Wednesday saw Kaizer Chiefs give their multitude of fans in Durban an early Christmas gift with a 2-0 win at Golden Arrows courtesy of goals from Bernard Parker and Siphiwe Tshabalala.

Ajax Cape Town secured a fifth win from their last six league matches when they overcame Chippa United 1-0 at home and Free State Stars shocked Cape Town City 1-0 at Goble Park, paving the way for SuperSport United to take top spot in the late game when they defeated Polokwane City 2-1 thanks to goals from Cole Alexander and Jeremy Brockie.

The Absa Premiership now heads into a seven-week hiatus due to the Africa Cup of Nations. Round 16 will be played on February 7-8.

Absa Premiership Round 15 results

Tuesday 20 December


Orlando Pirates 1 (Manyisa 9') Bloemfontein Celtic 2 (Dube 77', Rikhotso 90')
Maritzburg United 1 (Mokate 74') Bidvest Wits 1 (Malajila 70')
Highlands Park 2 (Mvala 28’, Mashumba 30’) Platinum Stars 2 (Ng’ambi 33’, Shilongo 45’)

Wednesday 21 December

Golden Arrows 0 Kaizer Chiefs 2 (Parker 29’, Tshabalala 79’)
Ajax Cape Town 1 (Nxumalo 88’) Chippa United 0
Free State Stars 1 (Sekotlong 81’ pen) Cape Town City 0
SuperSport United 2 (Alexander 36’, Brockie 69’ pen) Polokwane City 1 (Ramagalela 5’)

Thursday 22 December

Baroka FC 0 Mamelodi Sundowns 1 (Kekana 84’)

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