Mamelodi Sundowns were held to a 1-1 draw by Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium in the DStv Premiership on Sunday evening.
Aubrey Modiba’s goal early in the second half had threatened to bring a home defeat for Amakhosi before Phathutshedzo Nange leveled things up late on as the game approached full time. Two points dropped on the road keeps Masandawana in first place with 62 points after 28 games played.
The Brazilians flew out of the blocks and threatened through Modiba’s attempt at goal within the opening three minutes. Modiba was unfortunate to connect his foot with the ball that came rolling in the box.
Keagan Dolly followed from distance on the other side of the pitch after Amakhosi regained possession of the ball, Dolly’s strike hit the side of the net and sent shockwaves to Downs defense which was caught flat footed. Khama Billiat was unable to connect with the ball inside the box from Leonardo Castro’s cross.
Pressure appeared to be building for Masandawana when Cole Alexander had the opportunity to take a shot at goal, but the attacker’s shot went off target. Castro continued to push forward for the glamour boys, making movements on the left side of the pitch in attempt to find an opener for his side.
As the half progressed, the game became a physical battle between the two sides. Castro was the first player to be booked in the referee’s book in the first half, followed by Khuliso Mudau and Sphelele Mkhulise and Nange in the second half.
The tension proceeded to grow inside the stadium as both teams were looking more than capable of grabbing a winner, the better chance fell to Themba Zwane who came close to goal with his shot narrowly going over the cross bar. Gaston Sirino also took his chance at goal with a fine strike but no luck for the Uruguay international striker.
Reyaad Pieterse was called into action before the conclusion of the half, palming away Cardoso’s effort from outside the box following a neat one-two amongst chiefs’ players. Masandawana continued to apply pressure on their opponents before the half reached it’s conclusion, and Modiba’s long range shot coming close to goal.
Not long after the interval, The Tshwane giants were looking deadly, Mshishi’s header in the box went flashes past Bruce Bvuma’s posts by an inch before Modiba’s brilliant strike put the reigning champions ahead. The impressive Sirino played a long cross from the right side of the box to the left to connect with Modiba, the 26-year-old left footer netted home for Bafana Ba Style.
The visitors remained on the front foot, with Zwane and Lebohang Maboe with efforts off target. Chiefs’ best chances of the second half came from Billiats’s shot which was brilliantly saved by Pieterse. Amakhosi’s efforts were eventually rewarded in the 75th minute, Nange found an equalizer for the home team when Downs cleared out the ball out of danger only for it to land on Nange. The 30-year-old midfielder drilled his shot the same time from distance.
The Glamour boys looked more active after the equalizer, pushing more numbers forward into Masandawana’s half, Mosa Lebusa missed a tackle on Kgaogelo Sekgola who was already in the box as the attacker went down and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Keagan Dolly was sent forward to take the shot, however he had an attempt blocked by Pieterse who punched out the penalty kick.
The visitors struggled to work the intensity back into the game and Bafana Ba Style were threatening on the counter-attack, with Peter Shalulile headed towards goal before added time, the Namibian international was brought down but the referee allowed for the game to go on. Samir Nurkovic fired on the side of the net as the visitors looked to extend their lead.
Chiefs threw men forward in the final moments but still couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net, ultimately having to settle for a point.
This is how we lined up:
- Pieterse, M. Lebusa ©, D. Lunga, K. Mudau, G. Sirino (78′ Maboe), A. Modiba (87′ Lakay), S. Mkhulise, A. Jali, T. Zwane, L. Maboe (87′ Ralani), P. Shalulile.
- Mweene, N. Maema, T. Kutumela, T. Mokoena, L. Lakay, T. Morena, G. Motupa, L. Kapinga B. Ralani, T. Morena