Mamelodi Sundowns played to a 0 – 0 draw with Cape Town City in the DStv Premiership on Tuesday night at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Masandawana hosted The Citizens in the Capital City as both teams started off energetically going at each other in attack, putting the defense under pressure to find an early opener.
Themba Zwane came close to taking the first opportunity at goal for The Brazilians with a pass coming from Khuliso Mudau, but Mshishi was let down by his final touch to connect with the ball. Zwane got into action again, this time with Peter Shalulile as they combined passes in City’s box, but their attempts got canceled by the defenders.
Downs 21-year old Cassius Mailula joined the attacking party as he found his rhythm in the game and followed through with an at goal but only saw his shot go wide past Darren Keet’s goalposts.
Sundowns goalkeeper Ronwen Williams produced one impressive save to deny Thato Mokeke an opportunity from inside the arch as he got down low to collect the ball. The home side began to pile up the pressure going forward and kept coming closest to finding a breakthrough, Neo Maema played a quick one-two with Shalulile before playing it back in the box with the deflection off the defender taking the ball away from the midfielder as he waited to receive it.
The Brazilians looked to have found the breakthrough when Shalulile had the ball in the back of the net before Mailula was flagged for an offside in the build up. With the game approaching half an hour, City whipped in a high ball from the right, forcing Williams to rise high to claim the cross. A promising opportunity for the home team came through Mailula as he laid the ball for Teboho Mokoena on the edge of the box, unfortunate for Mokoena as he fired his strike over Keet’s post.
Just before going into the half time break Mokoena looked to capitalize on Marcelo Allende’s corner but saw his effort saved from close range by the keeper. The two teams walked off with no goals on both sides going into half time.
As soon as the second half began Sundowns got into action quickly with Keet coming out of his box when Mailula pushed high up to put pressure on the keeper and the linesman put his flag up for offside. A confident period of possession for Masandawana followed with a couple of early sparks from Mokoena with a shot from far but his shot that was blocked by the defender and deflected out.
Maema pushed the ball from the midfield with speed to find Mailula who took a shot from the right side to the far post but the ball trickled past the goal of mouth. Downs made their first substitution after the hour mark, Abubeker Nasir made an exchange with Mailula. The Ethiopian striker linked up with Shalulile as they brilliantly played out touches together going in attack, but the final pass back to Nasir from Shalulile was intercepted by City.
Allende showed up with a shot on target forcing the keeper to get in action and make a save for City. With momentum building up for Bafana Ba Style, Maema also followed with a shot outside the box after turning the defender in midfield.
An interplay and combinations impressively in the midfield between Maema and Zwane led to a foul given to Downs after Taariq Fielies brought Maema down outside the box area. The home team continued with threats repeatedly, Shalulile controlled an incoming long pass with his chest but the ball bounced off the ground before he could connect with it to take a shot.
In the last 10 minutes of the clash Sphele Mkhulise and Siyabonga Mabena made their way onto the field for Allende and Maema. Masandawana looked the most likely to find a breakthrough with a touch from Zwane to Shalulile who tried to shoot from a tight angle but the keeper closed down as Shalulile misdirected his shot high.
Downs youngster Mabena confidently challenged the defender at the edge of the box and managed to get past Thamsanqa Mkhize to take a shot that went above the goalposts. In the last minutes left to play Sundowns pushed more players forward, Zwane made his way upfront and pulled away from the defenders to pass to Aubrey Modiba who spotted Shalulile. The Namibian striker tried to steal a late winner but Mark Van Heerden stayed on his ties to stop the attempt in the box.
The meeting ended in no goals between the two teams, walking with a point each in the DStv Premiership. Mamelodi Sundowns get back in action when they travel to Soweto to lock horns with Swallows on Sunday, kick off is at 3pm.
This is how we lined up:
Williams, Mudau, Modiba, Kekana, Mvala, Mokoena, Maema (80′ Mabena), Allende (80′ Mkhulise), Zwane ©, Shalulile, Mailula (62′ Nasir).
Subs: Pieterse, Boutouil, Mashego, Morena, Mbule, Mkhulise, Mabena, Domingo, Nasir