Jeremy Brockie breaks duck in handsome Mamelodi Sundowns win

Jeremy Brockie of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a goal Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

It took 378 days and 35 matches but New Zealand international Jeremy Brockie finally broke his scoring drought with a thumping volley as Mamelodi Sundowns returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Free State Stars in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday.

There was also a 1-0 win for Kaizer Chiefs at home to Black Leopards as Zimbabwe international Willard Katsande opened his account for the season.

Brockie had been prolific at former side SuperSport United, where he scored 54 goals in 125 games, but following his big-money move to Sundowns in January 2017 had been firing blanks. 

He powered Sundowns into the lead against Stars though in what was his first start since August, volleying home a superb opener to underline his undoubted quality. It was a first competitive goal since he netted for SuperSport on October 28 last year.

It capped off an excellent start by Sundowns, who were 3-0 up inside the opening 26 minutes, with in-form Uruguayan forward Gaston Sirino grabbing the other two.

The first came from the penalty spot as Aubrey Ngoma, making a first league start some 18 months after joining Sundowns, was felled in the box. 

Sirino stepped up to convert and then added a brilliant second with a scorching shot from range minutes later to take his tally to four goals in four games for The Brazilians.

Stars pulled a goal back before the break as their Congolese forward Harris Tchilimbou converted at the near post.

Brockie and Sirino had further chances to add to the home tally in what was a rampant performance, but they found Stars goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare in excellent form.

Sundowns move to within five points of league leaders Orlando Pirates, but have three games in hand and host Orlando Pirates on Saturday in what will be a crucial clash for both sides.

Chiefs made heavy weather of their win over Leopards that also leaves them five points back from Pirates, but having played the same number of games. 

Amakhosi gave a first start to Madagascan international Dax and they started on the front foot, but it took until four minutes before the break for them to open the scoring.

Katsande, who missed a penalty and struck the post at the weekend in the Telkom Knockout win over SuperSport, nodded home the winner as Leopards failed to clear a corner.

There were some nervy moments for the home side in the second period, but they were able to hold on for the win and next host Chippa United behind closed doors in Durban on Saturday.