Mamelodi Sundowns opened five points gap at the top of the DStv Premiership table after defeating Baroka 2-0 this evening.
Sundowns secured their 10th win of the league season thanks to second-half strikes from Gaston Sirino and Peter Shalulile, putting clear daylight between themselves and nearest chasers SuperSport United.
In the opening half-hour, both goalkeepers Ugandan Denis Onyango (Sundowns) and Zimbabwean Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka) were alert to scoring threats and did well to avert danger.
Baroka managed a few penetrative sorties deep into the Sundowns half with fast-paced breaks down the right flanks and then followed up with goalmouth crosses. In the 31st minute, Baroka striker Thamsanqa Masiya came within a whisker of scoring after he chipped the ball high over the advancing Onyango after Sundowns' central defence was exposed.
After a slow start to the second half, Gaston Sirino finally broke the ice for the hosts in the 63rd minute with a side-footed shot past Chipezeze in a one-on-one situation after a through ball by Kermit Erasmus.
Two minutes later, Sirino's striking partner Namibian Peter Shalulile doubled the score as Baroka were still trying to recover from the effects of the opening goal.
Erasmus was unfortunate not to add a third for Sundowns in the 72nd minute with a first-time strike on the far side of the box that crashed the upright.
Onyango, meanwhile, continued to work hard as he tipped a header from Kamatuka over the line before Tshediso Patjie also went close.
The Ugandan stopper was to make sure of the clean sheet with another fine save - denying Kgodiso Monama from point-blank range in the 93rd minute.
Baroka will be back in DStv Premiership action on Saturday with a Limpopo derby against Black Leopards, while Sundowns’ scheduled match against Maritzburg United has been delayed to aid their travel arrangements for a CAF Champions League clash away in Algeria next midweek.
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 2 (Sirino 63’, Shalulile 68’)
Baroka FC 0
Sundowns: D. Onyango, Lebusa, Coetzee, Nascimento, Maboe (Kapinga 85’), Mkhulise (Morena 75’), Mvala (Erasmus 55’), Lakay, Zwane, Sirino (Domingo 85’), Shalulile
Baroka: Chipezeze, Mphahlele, Makume, Gebhardt, Jampies (Shozi 75’), Masiya (Mogale 89’), Mosele, Kambala (Monama 75’), Mgaga (Kamatuka 51’), Phiri Jnr (Patjie 75’), Makgopa