Mamelodi Sundowns remained on the top spot in the DStv Premiership after securing a hard-fought goalless draw against Cape Town City.
The goalfest anticipated ahead of the encounter did not come to pass as a hard fought affair unfolded at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening. Masandawana extended their unbeaten run to start the season to ten games after their meeting with The Citizens, it was a game of the highest quality, a thriller between two of the best teams in the DStv Premiership and it nearly carried a late sting at both ends.
In the early stages, Bafana Ba Style’s defender Mosa Lebusa blocked a threatening goal scoring attempt by Mduduzi Mdantsane after 20 minutes of ongoing attack from both sides. City continued with their attacking momentum when Fagrie Lakay had a breakthrough in transition forming a 2v1 towards The Brazilians’ final third, his promising shot at goal however went wide past the goal.
Downs’ resilient form was stopped with a head collision between Thabiso Kutumela and City’s defender Nathan Fasika which gave the visitors a foul right outside the penalty area. Haashim Domingo, who received the man of the match award for his brilliant performance stepped up to take the free kick and looked to hand his side a lead in the game but Hugo Marques made no mistakes and saved the on target shot.
Masandawana went into the halftime break with the majority of the ball possession as both sides were in high-tempo mode from the off. The second half of the encounter was a physical battle with both sides receiving two yellow cards each. It was all Sundowns in terms of the attacking threat with Domingo adding to the shots on target count but unfortunate to score. The Citizens followed with their own attack and scrambled to find spaces in Downs penalty box with a promising shot at Denis Onyango but it was not to be.
Kutumela, who’d been having a busy game, created an opening for himself with a long range shot at Marques from Divine Lunga’s pass, his effort at goal met the top of City’s goalposts. Despite all the changes made by the home team, the visitors had posted a warning down the side.
Masandawana’s perseverance playing out from the back almost cost them dear towards the end of the game as City regained possession in their territory from Andile Jali’s miscalculated pass. Change of play in Downs upon the second-half was remarkable, Mothobi Mvala, Lyle Lakay, Neo Maema and George Maluleka replaced Divine Lunga, Thapelo Morena, Haashim Domingo and Thabiso Kutumela. Maema’s remarkable footwork was almost rewarded with a goal for Sundowns in the dying minutes of the encounter. Although both teams were unfortunate not to find the back of the net, the draw did favour Sundowns as they continued with their successive clean sheets and an unbeaten record in the league.
This is how we lined up: D. Onyango, M. Lebusa © , D. Lunga (76′ Lakay), K. Mudau, G. Kekana, A. Jali, T. Morena (76′ Mvala), T. Kutumela, T. Zwane, H. Domingo, P. Shalulile
Subs: R. Pieterse, G. Maluleka, L. Lakay, N. Maema, P. Safranko, R. De Reuck, S. Vilakazi, G. Sirino, M. Mvala.