Mamelodi Sundowns clinched their fifth consecutive Premier Soccer League trophy in front of another sell-out crowd at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Aubrey Modiba was awarded with the man of the match award for his massive outstanding moments against Cape Town City. The Brazilians had to be content with a draw against The Citizens in Tshwane, the visitors first threat at goal came from Mduduzi Mdantsane in the early minutes of the first half, the midfielder’s long shot at goal went over the goalposts as he attempted to find an opening goal for his side.
Neo Maema followed shortly with an attempt of his own for Masandawana after receiving the ball from Themba Zwane, City’s goalie Hugo Marques was forced to make a save from his line. The visitors defended valiantly from then on and held their defense for much of the opening half.
Downs’ first half chances increased and flowed like the rivers, Zwane’s brilliant skills on the right side of the pitch together with Bradley Ralani eliminated the defensive line of City as they tossed the ball into the box. Peter Shalulile had his first touch immediately from a cross delivered in, the Namibian international thumped a low shot at goal and went slightly past the bottom of the goalpost.
City’s striker Darwin Mendoza almost put his team in the lead after receiving the ball from Mpho Makola. The Brazilians’ heart rates rose again minutes later when Maema’s cross went right past the penalty spot but fell to the defense of Cape Town City.
Craig Martin’s cross nearly caused momentary havoc for Masandawana but his effort was cleared out of danger. Bafana Ba Style continued to press hard for the opener, using both flanks in an attempt to get behind their opponents, but The Citizens kept their defense solid.
Mshishi hammered a cross-shot towards goal as the first half was coming to an end, his shot diverted on to the face of the crossbar. Marque made his final save for City as the first 45 minutes came to an end.
The visitors started the second half off but it didn’t take long for the Tshwane giants to regain their momentum. Maema was again in action for the hosts as Zwane cushioned the ball back to the attacker, however let down by his shot which had no power towards Marque. City gradually grew into the game and began creating regular chances of their own, Mdantsane found himself in good position to go for goal but fired his shot high off target as the ball went over the goalposts.
Masandawana gained possession and effortlessly made their way into the final third of the opposition, after making passes to one another, Zwane laid the ball for Ralani whose shot was blocked by the defenders. The Brazilians started off with two changes, bringing on Divine Lunga and Gaston Sirino followed by Lesedi Kapinga, Thabiso Kutumela and Sphelele Mkhulise.
Masandawana’s energy levels noticeably boosted with the men in Yellow consistently forming a formidable attack charging away down the left, but were unable to find the key to break down the visitors’ solid set-up. The Citizens began to commit fouls as the pressure was piling on their defense but did well to clear the set-pieces put into their box
Shalulile relentlessly forced his way past the defense and fired with effort wide. City continued to force a solid barrier in the second period as they gave little away, leading the hosts to settle for a draw. The Brazilians needed only a point to successfully defend their 2021/22 title, as the game reached it’s conclusion with both teams unable to score any goals in the encounter, the Tshwane giants grabbed their fifth trophy with four games left to play in the DStv Premiership.
This is how we lined up:
- Onyango ©, R. De Reuck (79′ Kapinga), B. Onyango (57′ Lunga), G. Kekana, A. Modiba, A. Jali, N. Maema (79′ Mkhulise), B. Ralani (79′ Kutumela), L. Maboe, T. Zwane (63′ Sirino), P. Shalulile
- Mweene, D. Lunga, T. Kutumela, T. Mokoena, P. Mkhuma, S. Mkhulise, G. Sirino, L. Kapinga, P. Safranko