Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
VETERAN Zimbabwe international Cuthbert Malajila hogged the limelight on the resumption of the ABSA Premiership programme when he grabbed a brace to inspire Mamelodi Sundowns to an emphatic victory over Moroka Swallows on Tuesday night.Last night, another Zimbabwean forward, Kingston Nkhatha, scored on debut for SuperSport United, opening the scores in their match against Free State Stars at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
The South African Premiership had been on a seven-week break to make way for the just-ended 30th Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
Malajila, who has been enjoying his time at the Brazilians since arriving from Maritzburg United, struck his brace in the first half to help Sundowns ease to a 4-1 win over struggling Swallows. The former Chapungu, Highlanders and Dynamos hitman connected an Anthony Laffor right wing cross with a firm close range header to open his account.
Malajila then completed his brace after 22 minutes following some good work on the right channel from Siyanda Zwane. Kudakwashe Mahachi should have made it five for the Brazilians in the 76th minute when he met an inch perfect cross from fellow Warriors teammate Khama Billiat but Swallowsâ Nigerian goalkeeper Greg Etafia produced a great one-on-one save.
It could have still been worse for Swallows when five minutes from the end Billiat fashioned a chance for himself, but failed to take it as he fired inches wide from just inside the box.
On the same night that Malajila shone at Lucas Moripe Stadium, across the capital, another Zimbabwean finally remembered what it means to celebrate a goal when Denver Mukamba struck the winner for University of Pretoria against Chippa United.
Atusaye Nyondo had thrust AmaTuks into the lead before Mukamba, making a rare start, helped the hosts to victory.
The win extends AmaTuksâ unbeaten run in the league to five matches while they are also yet to lose to the Chilli Boys in the top-flight.
Heavy rain greeted the players onto the field in what was a blustery evening in the South African capital.
Mukamba started largely because Thabo Mnyamane was suspended, while Bennett Chenene was named on the bench and the 2012 Zimbabwean Soccer Star of the Year made the most of the opportunity with a fine show on the night.
Mukamba made an early impact with his rasping effort well gathered by Chilli Boys keeper Mbongeni Mzimela in the 16th minute.
The home side controlled the early exchanges with Geoffrey Massa going close three minutes later.
Having rounded the keeper, the Ugandan only managed to direct his effort into the side-netting from an acute angle.
AmaTuks finally found the opener with 35 minutes on the clock.
Mzimela failed to deal with Thabo Mosadiâs powerful effort, parrying the ball straight up into the air, leaving Nyondo with an easy tap in.
Chippa went in search of the equaliser before the break with Washington Arubi almost handing it to the visitors after his goal-kick went straight at Manti Maholo, but the Chilli Boys midfielder failed to punish the former Zimbabwe captain for his error.
The Chilli Boys levelled matters eight minutes into the second half, with substitute and former Hwange centre-back Eric Chipeta, nodding in Andile Mbenyaneâs free-kick from close range.
AmaTuks, though, hit back straight away with Mukamba grabbing a well deserved goal. The midfielder, who is on-loan from Bidvest Wits, directed his side-footed effort into the back of the net via the inside of the post.
Mukamba has not enjoyed his game in the South African league as much as he did when rising to be the Dynamos talisman in the 2012 season, with injuries not helping his cause.
Former Dynamos defender Partson Jaure also featured for AmaTuks alongside Arubi and Mukamba as Zimbabweans continued to make their impact felt in the ABSA Premiership.