South African-based Anthony Snoti Laffor got his name marked on the scoresheet to help his club, the Mamelodi Sundowns, grab their first win in four matches.
The former Lone Star captain scored in stoppage time to help the Sundowns to a 3-1 win away at the Orlando Pirates. The ‘Brazilians’ took an early lead through captain Hlompho Kekana, who scored in the first minute through errors made by the Pirates’ defender, Abbubaker Mobara. Trying to clear the ball off his defense, the 23-year-old defender’s shot hit Kekana’s leg as the ball returned to the goal to beat Pirates’ goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.
Just 12 minutes after giving the Sundowns the lead, Kekana doubled the score through an unbelievable effort from inside his own half. The veteran midfielder received a pass from Percy Tau and shot from within the Sundowns’ half to beat Sandilands, who was out of position. Sandilands’ efforts to clear the ball off the net failed as he and the ball fell into the net.
After 13 minutes, the Sundowns were two goals up, and the match looked to be the repeat of 6-0 humiliation on February 11, 2017 in a 2016-17 ABSA Premiership match. However, the Pirates put themselves together as they prevented the Sundowns from scoring again and pulled a goal back before the end of the first half. South African defender Marc van Heerden scored in the 37th minute to make the score 2-1.
Playing at home, the support of the fans in the stadium served as a great motivation for the Pirates as they became stronger in the second half. They returned from the break with much pressure in a bid for an equalizer, but their efforts didn’t materialize as the score remained 2-1 until the 90th minute. With the fourth official signaling three minutes added time, there was still hope for the Pirates, who desperately needed a point at home.
However, it was the Sundowns who had the last laugh of the day when Laffor scored in the final minute of the added time to secure the three points. The former LISCR forward received Themba Zwane’s cross from the left to shoot into the Pirates’ net. The 32-year-old struck from 10 yards to make it three for the Sundowns.
It was his first league goal of the season from four appearances, while it was the Sundowns’ fourth win from seven games. The ‘Brazilians’ are now seated eighth on the league table with 12 points, five less than first placed Baroka.
Before the 3-1 win away at the Pirates, the Brazilians had suffered three successive defeats in a slow start to the 2017-18 season. They will go in search of their third win of the league season when they travel away to defending champions Bidvest Wits, who are struggling for form this season.
Featured photo courtesy of the Mamelodi Sundowns