Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Nange 76′)
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 1 (Modiba 49′)
A frantic game played at a high tempo on Sunday at the FNB Stadium saw Chiefs hold DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns to a 1-1 draw in an enthralling league tussle.
Chiefs could have won all three points late on as Keagan Dolly had an 85th minute penalty saved by Reyaad Pieterse.
Sundowns had gone into the lead in the 49th minute with a well taken goal by Aubrey Modiba, but Chiefs fought back and managed to equalise through Phathutshedzo Nange in the 76th minute.
Amakhosi had a flurry of chances late on to win the g
ame, but were unlucky not to have won all the points on offer.
Chiefs may have applauded the champions onto the field, but there was no standing on ceremony as Dolly stormed past the Sundowns defence and rifled a shot past Pieterse and into the side netting just four minutes in.
Chiefs continued to pile on the pressure and it was Dolly again who rode the challenge of two Sundowns players in the ninth minute, getting taken out as he was able to push the ball to Leonado Castro to his left.
The Colombian was able a to swing the ball goalwards, where Khama Billiat came sliding in and was just a fraction late connecting on the volley with the ball, knocking it into the ground and past Pieterse’s goal from a dangerous flowing Chiefs move.
While Chiefs were on the attack they had to be alert at the back and Bruce Bvuma rose to the challenge in the 11th minute, punching away Modiba’s lay up from the left.
Sundowns were also managing to create openings when in space inside the Chiefs 18 yard area and in the 20th minute Themba Zwane blazed an effort over the goals.
Chiefs, though, were matching Sundowns in attack and in the 27th minute a neat lay up by Dolly to Cole Alexander saw the latter sublimely loft the ball into the path of Billiat, who despite his efforts could not make the vital contact with his head as another Chiefs chance went begging.
Chiefs picked up the ball and managed to restart a move, which ended with Mose Lebusa make a last-ditch goal saving tackle on Castro.
For all Chiefs attacking abilities they were demonstrating their ability to hold their line at the back as well.
On 35 minutes Bvuma made a wonder save jumping off the ground to make a one-handed push over the crossbar after Peter Shalulile had climbed highest to head the ball powerfully towards goal after he had connected with Modiba’s looping cross from the left.
An entertaining first half which threw up end to end action somehow ended 0-0.
Sundowns went close after the restart with Zwane’s glancing header going across goal and bouncing wide of a fully stretched Bvuma.
Sundowns drew first blood shortly thereafter with Modiba spectacularly connecting with Gaston Sirino’s pin point cross from the right, meeting the ball powerfully on the half volley and beating Bvuma with a wicked shot that took a bounce before hitting the back of the net as Sundowns went 1-0 ahead in the 49th minute.
Chiefs in a bid to launch themselves back in the game saw Billiat get in behind the Sundowns defence, his attempt at goal though was blocked by Pieterse who threw out a hand to stop the Zimbabwean’s effort.
As Billiat went through on goal it did look as though Divine Lunga had pushed him from the back as he raced through on goal, but the referee waved play on.
It was game on in the final 16 minutes as Chiefs found an equalizer. Billiat’s short pass to Alexander on the right was turned into the danger zone, with Lunga managing to head the ball clear only as far as Nange, who from the edge of the 18 yard area hit the ball at the first time of asking to beat Pieterse, the ball flying in despite a desperate lunge to his right from the Sundowns keeper.
Chiefs had a chance to win the game with five minutes to go when they were awarded a spot kick when Kgaogelo Sekgota was fouled by Musa Lebusa. Dolly’s penalty, hit to the goalkeepers left, was saved by Pieterse at full stretch. Dolly had a second bite as the ball rebounded and hung in the air, but his header was straight back to Pieterse.
In the final minute of the game substitute Samir Nurković had two chances, first he drove a lay up from Dolly beyond Pieterse into the side netting on the right, then he headed Billiat’s cross from the right on target, but straight at Pieterse in a frenetic end to the game.
It was a spirited fight back from Chiefs, who in truth could feel aggrieved as they could easily have taken all three points from this clash, showing grit and determination to come back and earn a point against tough opponents.
MVP – Bvuma put up a brave showing in goal, making telling saves, while Siyabonga Ngezana reduced Sirino and Peter Shalulile to spectator roles in the game. Nurković came on and was a nuisance to the Sundowns backline. Overall it was a strong midfield showing from Chiefs with Billiat, Dolly and Alexander all excelling.
What Next – Chiefs will be in action for the penultimate time in the DStv Premiership this season, when they face Sekhukhune on the road on the 14th May.
Chiefs: Bvuma (16); Mphahlele (2), Ngezana (30), Frosler (39), Blom (45), Nange (24), Alexander (17), Dolly (10), Billiat (11), Kambole (7) (Nurković 73′), Castro (8) (Sekgota 59′)
Subs Not Used: Akpeyi (40); Mabiliso (26), Dube (29), Agay (5), Mashiane (19), Parker (25), Radebe (33)
Cautions: 9. Castro 19′, 24. Nange 90+3′
Coach: Arthur Zwane
Sundowns: Pieterse (30), Lunga (13), Lebusa © (5), Jali (15), Mkhulise (21), Modiba (17) (Lakay 88′), Mudau (25), Maboe (33) (Ralani 88′), Zwane (18), Sirino (10) (Maema 79′), Shalulile (38)
Subs Not Used: Mweene (1); Morena (27), Mokoena (26), Kapinga (22), Motupa (19), Kutumela (32)
Cautions: 26. Mudau 23′, 21. S. Mkhulise 90+1′
Coach: Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena