16.12.2017 22:42 h

Tau torments Celtic as Sundowns stretch lead

Percy Tau starred for Mamelodi Sundowns as they trounced Bloemfontein Celtic 4-1 in Pretoria Saturday and widened their South African Premiership lead to six points.

Slightly built midfielder Tau created the first goal and scored the third as 2016 African champions Sundowns provided further evidence that they are the team to beat this season.

Not only are they six points clear at the top, but have two matches in hand on closest rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars.

Dominant Chiefs needed 85 minutes before substitute Dumisani Zuma scored the goal that sank Ajax Cape Town 1-0 in Indian Ocean port city Durban.

Stars left it almost as late to edge Orlando Pirates 2-1 in central town Bethlehem with Sinethemba Jantjie scoring a scrambled match-winner six minutes from time.

Sundowns have 28 points, Chiefs and Stars 22, Cape Town City 21, Pirates 20 and Chippa United, Celtic and Baroka 19 each.

Humble Tau is the man of the moment in the Premiership, the richest African national football league with 30 million rand ($2.3 million/1.95 million euro) prize money.

He has netted six times this seasons to lie second in the Premiership scoring charts behind eight-goal Rodney Ramagalela of Polokwane City.

Tau also has six assists to his credit and Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says he is an obvious candidate for Premiership Player of the Season.

"The only weakness Percy had was scoring and he is fixing that problem fast," said former South Africa striker and coach Mosimane.

"I am very proud of him and happy for him. Percy gives his all at training and then some more so he deserves all the praise that is coming his way."

All Sundowns' goals against Celtic, who had conceded only eight in 12 previous league games this season, came after half-time.

Thokozani Sekotlong broke the deadlock with a diving header off a Tau cross and Tiyani Mabunda struck the second with a fierce shot from just outside the box.

Tau sprang an offside trap to race through and beat Cameroonian goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb for the third after Zimbabwean Ronald Pfumbidzai had pulled one goal back for Celtic.

Themba Zwane completed the rout two minutes from time and Sundowns will stretch their lead to nine points if they beat visiting Cape Town City next Tuesday.

Austrian Roland Putsche started and finished a move that earned Cape Town a late 1-0 win over Amazulu Friday that briefly lifted them to second.

On Saturday, City were overtaken by Free State and then Chiefs, who signed Colombian striker Leonardo Castro from Sundowns hours before facing Ajax.

He can play from January for his new club, who desperately need a clinical finisher after having 13 attempts at goal without hitting the target even once before Zuma scored.