Downs Register a Goalless Draw Against Golden Arrows

Newly crowned DStv Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns were held to a goalless stalemate by Lamontville Golden Arrows on Wednesday evening at the Mpumalanga Stadium. Albeit goalless, the fixture offered the spectators what could be described as a mouthwatering 90 minutes of football.

The Masandawana defence was under threat in the early minutes of the encounter as the hosts’ attack caused problems, forcing the first save out of Ronwen Williams after driving it and shooting just outside the area. The visitors returned the fire through Thembinkosi Lorch who tried to spread his foot in the nearpost to try and make things happen for his side, but the Golden Arrows keeper, Ismail Watenga smacked the ball away to deny them.

It was an occupied opening for both goalkeepers as end-to-end football was displayed, sending both teams’ rearguards to work and having to defend their boxes. Lucas Ribeiro, who posed a few threats in the opening moments of the encounter, picked up an injury before the thirty-minute mark which forced Coach Rulani to make an early substitution, introducing Peter Shalulile.

Pressure was brewing as the two sides were looking for an opener and it was beginning to become evident in the pitch. Matias Esquivel had a big chance right in front of goal, to make a difference before the break but he put it over the bar.

The first half closed with a free kick awarded to Abafana Bes’thende following a foul by Ronwen Williams who got booked. The setpiece was however not fruitful as the ball went wide, seeing both sides goalless at the break.

The second stanza kicked off with the referee giving marching orders to Mosa Lebusa following a last man foul on Arrows’ Zwane, leaving the Brazilians with only ten men in the pitch. The KwaZulu-Natal based side took advantage of the ten men they were playing against and made an instant impact through two dangerous chances in quick succession, but both attempts went wide.

Just past the hour mark, Junior Mendieta drew a save from Watenga from his first touch which came from a cross from Aubrey Modiba. Downs continued to apply pressure and look for a goal but the Arrows defence was excellent. The Masandawana defence was equally marvellous as Coetzee in collaboration with Mothobi Mvala made important tackles against their Golden Arrows counterparts.

In the closing stages of the match, Watenga was tested again in the nearpost by Allende but he smacked the ball away. More opportunities in goals were presented but in the end, the visitors had to settle for a point, which extends their unbeaten streak in the domestic league.

How we lined up: Williams, Mudau, Lebusa, Kekana, Coetzee, Modiba, Allende, Zwane ©, Esquivel, Ribeiro, Lorch.

Subs: D. Onyango, Mvala, Aubaas, Mbule, Maema, Mendieta, Nku, Morena, Shalulile.

8 Responses
  1. Muzi Kunene

    Eish this season must end now its boring especially the people and the media are all accusing us of benefitting,one mistake happen on our game it’s a big issue and it seems our players are getting frustrated by that because they make many mistakes in every games nowadays.
    The supporters of Soweto teams are annoying now and I can see someone will be beaten by us oneday because its not about the referees but its a jealous of our success.

  2. DOWNS4EVER

    You can say that again Boh,we are tired of watching Zwane week in and week out when we have already wrapped up the league,soccer is not like marathon where you get rewarded for breaking records,i mean those players played an intense game over the weekend yet majority of them played last night on a game of less significance. In my opinion Zwane and Esquivel play the same and we compromised our intensity and aggression upfront by playing both of them at the same time,besides you can’t rest young Mkhulise,Mtthews and forever hard working Shalulile for an old player who needs your protection in the name of beautiful football.You should learn from Madrid,they play for the most important thing in the game,results hence they are the most successful team in the world,when their offensive players have the ball they only go where the posts are not where their team mates,they only do that in the 18 area,and you must also learn how Modric is been managed he plays more than 50%of the game once in a while.This thing of compassionate team selection is annoying,it is not like guaranteed a win when you play those players who have done well for the team,this also shows that he was refreshing the team bcoz of champions league not by choice.Prime example February played well when Denis got injured but came next game the very same February who performed well was nowhere to be seen and Denis who got substituted bcoz of an injury was on the bench,players like Maboe will always play well when given a chance, come next game he is the stands but on the media you him taking about meritocracy .If the coach prefers old players he must also bring back Hlompo and Mabunda,this coach doesn’t care about the future of the club,he is more about making history for himself,if you can check there is no plan about young central defenders.

  3. Mfana

    Great result yesterday it seems as we needed a red card 2 have a decisive, fast & fluid game,we were just unfortunate not 2 score a goal in that game.Fellow Brazilians I thought we had a good opportunity 2 field Mabena&Nkosi other fringe players just 2 feel &enjoy the limelight but I was just fooling myself. The only madness that Rhulani is obsessed about is this unbeaten run,there’s no respect about opponent or professionalism here.Just imagine overusing players that r already fatigued then after losing against Orlando Pirates we will get ‘I’m only 37 years old just give me 4 years “I will win this&that.We r a great team bt Rhulani Rhulani Rhulani…

  4. Mfana

    Again yesterday we lost Ribeiro as we lost Tebogo Mokoena in a game where football brain was not used by the cleverest coach in the land.What happened is we r just pinning our hopes 4 a World Club competition in USA just 2 receive a great package otherwise Sundowns will never b a ruthless force bt just league winners.

  5. Skhumba

    Honestly guys I think there was no need to play Zwane and Esquivel in the same starting 11!! Thier style of play is very similar!! We real lacked aggression in the central midfield!! Mkhulise or even Aubaas could have been given a chance as one of the central midfielder in place of one of those two!! If look at both Aubaas and Mkhulise they haven’t had much game time!! I think it’s time to give them more game time simply because we don’t have nothing to loose in these psl remaining games!! Maboe could have been another alternative in that central middle field to start!! Lastly our young players Mabena, Nkosi etc must given game guys in these remaining league games bantu!! It’s good for their development!! Sirino, Maema, AB, De Reuck, Jody should also be given game time if their are fit!! We are tired of watching the same players over and over again!! The league has already been won, why not give game time to players who haven’t played a lot of games in this season?

  6. Skhumba

    But that red card to Lebusa was not even clear cut!! The referee just wanted to steal the limelight that he has given a red card to a Sundowns player!! It was not an obvious scoring opportunity!! The other defender was covering Lebusa!!

  7. Boh

    Members all you said is spot on….Mnfana/Skhumba/Downs4ever/Muzie mnfe2…it is said we are the champions but experiencing disappointments and discouragement as if we are Chiefs fans!!…again all above is not a complaint and certainly not a complement…but a concern…..just like our coaches never happy even we leading the game 3 zero..so as fans at Sundowns we’ve learned to see when something or decisions are dividing the team…other members will come and say..you guys stop trying to tell the coach what to do..support him….same Rhulani came out and say the approach was wrong..and he is taking a blame for crashing us out of Champions league finals…but when you read our comment we were accused of questioning him…instead of being appreciated that Masandawana fans have grown to understand the game…not that we fighting but..we don’t have another platform to raise our voice except here.or stadium….this is our team…supporters never leave but players and coaches come and go..remember that..my fellow beloved members…7 akujiki!!

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