Laffor gets Sundowns back to winning ways

Mamelodi Sundowns ended an eight-match winless run by overcoming Pretoria University 1-0 Tuesday in a South African League Cup first round match.

Liberian Anthony Laffor scored the crucial goal three minutes after half-time at a damp and cool Loftus Versfeld stadium, side-footing the ball past Zimbabwe goalkeeper Washington Arubi from inside the box.

The match-winner had an international flavour with Mozambican Elias Pelembe, reportedly the highest paid footballer in the country, dribbling in from the wing and laying off a superb cut-back.

Sundowns were the superior side in both halves only to be let down once again by the timid finishing that has bedevilled them during a run of two draws and six losses in the league and another cup competition.

But Patrice Motsepe, billionaire boss of the Pretoria club, has rejected calls from some supporters to fire coach and 1970s Netherlands midfield star Johan Neeskens.

Loftus, which is the home ground of the Blue Bulls rugby union team, is not proving a lucky venue for newly promoted Pretoria, who surrendered a six-match unbeaten league run there in their last match two weeks ago.