PRETORIA, February 19 – Mamelodi Sundowns squandered the chance to join Bidvest Wits at the top of the Premiership standings after they could only manage a 1-1 draw with Polokwane City at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Tuesday night.
The home side scored early on through Themba Zwane but suffered a setback with a Denis Onyango own goal just before half time, and although they created plenty of second-half chances to claim a winner, it was to be a frustrating night for Pitso Mosimane’s side who remain two points off the summit.
Sundowns were the dominant team in the first half and set the tone after just nine minutes when Zwane was left unmarked down the left flank, which allowed him to cut inside, play a one-two with Gaston Sirino and squeeze in a low shot in at the near post past George Chigova.
The lead could have been doubled four minutes later when Sirino beat his man on the byline and pulled the ball back for Hlompho Kekana, but under pressure from a couple of defenders, he shanked his shot wide.
After that though, the Brazilians struggled to penetrate the Polokwane defence and were perhaps at times guilty of over-elaboration.
Having failed to drive home their advantage, Sundowns paid the price in the first minute of first-half added time when Salulani Phiri got on the end of a cross and headed goalwards, where home keeper Onyango dropped the ball and then deflected it into the net with his foot for an own goal.
The Tshwane team came out and played with purpose after the interval and there were chances for Lebohang Maboe and Zwane, but neither troubled Chigova.
Polokwane were still in the game and had a chance on 63 minutes when Jabulani Maluleke went close with a trademark rocket from 30-yards out.
However, it was Masandawana who were looking the more likely winners as the game went into the final 20 minutes and Man-of-the-Match Chigova was kept busy as he stopped two further efforts from Zwane, before Sibusiso Mbonani nearly headed in an own goal and then Chigova saved a Mosa Lebusa header.
The Brazilians piled on the pressure in the dying minutes of the game, but apart from a Kekana header which flashed wide, Rise and Shine were able to defend their goal without much issue.
– African News Agency (ANA)