Stars, Sundowns in stalemate
Joseph Molangoane and Teko Modise (Backpage)
Rustenburg - Platinum Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns played to a 0-0 draw in their Absa Premiership clash at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was a game of few clear-cut chances, though both sides did manage to hit the woodwork, with a draw probably the fairest result as there was more huff and puff rather than quality on display.
The result leaves Sundowns in fourth position, five points behind leaders SuperSport United, while Platinum Stars drop two places to 12th.
Mabhuti Khenyeza received an early yellow card for a rash challenge on home goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane. The former Bafana Bafana striker is no stranger to moments of madness, as his three red cards in the 2009/10 season attest.
Sundowns coach Johan Neeskens was clearly not happy with Khenyeza’s work on the night and he hauled the striker off after 33 minutes, replacing him with Bafana star Katlego Mphela.
The action was at the other end though as Lebo Ramolesa struck the crossbar for Stars, who were desperately unlucky not to take the lead.
Richard Henyekane forced Mpontshane into a fingertip save 10 minutes after the break with a fine effort from the edge of the box that was just too close to the goalkeeper.
Nyasha Mushekwi might have done better when well-placed for a shot but he put his effort into the side-netting.
At the other end, Nathan Paulse beat the offside trap but Sundowns goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands was off his line in a flash to save at the striker’s feet, though the gloveman did take a nasty accidental whack in the head for his trouble.
Mushekwi almost stole it at the death for the visitors he struck the upright with a low shot that was the closest the visitors came to a goal.
Sundowns skipper Method Mwanjale should have received his marching orders when, already on a yellow card, he blatantly fouled Joseph Malangoane. However, referee Lwandile Mfiki opted to book the Platinum Stars player for his protests instead and inexplicably let the Zimbabwean defender off the hook.