Mamelodi Sundowns falter away to Golden Arrows_1

Mamelodi Sundowns failed close in on the table-topping Kaizer Chiefs, after falling in the wrong end of a five-goal thriller against Golden Arrows.

The defending league champions arrived in KwaZulu-Natal ten points behind the Glamour Boys, with two games in hand.

They got down to the business of closing the substantial gap by taking on Steve Komphela’s men at a wet Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.

Zimbabwean international goalkeeper Lovemore Sibanda was in on the action early, denying Sundowns an opener inside the first ten minutes when he stopped Thapelo Morena from close range.

There were more attempts from the Tshwane giants in the opening exchanges, with Tebogo Langerman and Mauricio Affonso both getting close to getting their names on the scoresheet.

Next to try his luck was Lyle Lakay, who was also denied by another brilliant save from Sibanda, keeping things level in the 26th minute.

There was action at the other end as well, with Denis Onyango dealing well with ball whipped in from a set piece.

Arrows gained more confidence towards the halfway mark, but the breakthrough would come from Sundowns ten minutes later.

Langerman and Morena combined, with the former making a brilliant run down the wing before finding his teammate in the box for the opener.

The first half ended with the men in yellow still in the ascendancy, with Lakay and Sibanda dueling once more in an exchange which produced a similar result to the previous effort.

Momentum looked to have shifted the way of the hosts in the second half, and the pressure would eventually give when a handling error from Onyango allowed Danny Phiri to grab the equaliser.

Abafana Besthende continued to camp in the Sundowns half, and it would take until the 72nd minute for them to take the lead, when Knox Mutizwa pounced on a cross to make it 2-1.

Arrows then pulled away ten minutes later after Mutizwa completed his brace from the spot, following a foul on Parusnath Dube.

Things became tense momentarily when Andile Jali pulled one back for the visitors with one minute remaining on the clock.

However, the hosts had done enough to walk away with all three points.