Sundowns, Tuks share spoils
Richard Henyekane (Backpage)
Pretoria - Second-half goals from either side resulted in a share of the spoils between Mamelodi Sundowns and the University of Pretoria, who drew 1-1 in their Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday night.
A disappointing first half was rectified in the 51st minute, when Richard Henyekane put the hosts ahead, before Bongani Zungu cancelled the opener midway through the second period to send the teams home with one point a piece.
A lively opening period failed to produce goals, with neither side threatening in the build-up, while clinical touches were also lacking in attack.
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Sundowns eventually asked questions of the Tuks defence on the half-hour mark, when Richard Henyekane received a pass on the edge of the Tuks area, danced past his marker, but failed to test goalkeeper Washington Arubi, drilling his shot wide of the target.
The hosts thought they had taken the lead three minutes before the break after Edward Mnqele's well-hit attempt was equally well saved by Arubi, leaving Wayne Arendse a simple tap-in, but the defender netted from an offside position, disallowing the close-range effort.
With the teams goalless at the interval, Sundowns came out in the second half looking the brighter of the sides and were rewarded for some enterprising play six minutes later when Henyekane slid in a neat finish after Mnqele's miscued effort fell kindly for his fellow striker, who made no mistake from dead in front.
Having broken the deadlock, Sundowns found their rhythm and made regular visits into the AmaTuks half, with Mnqele, Henyekane and skipper Teko Modise all coming close.
On the hour mark, Tuks had their best opportunity to level the contest, after an accurate delivery across the face of goal found Senegalese striker Mame Niang in a dangerous position, but the lanky attacker struck his tame effort harmlessly at goal from point-blank range.
Tuks refused to sit back and benefitted from some sloppy defending three minutes later, after Jabulani Shongwe's blunder inside his area brought winger Zungu into an excellent position, allowing the youngster to keep his cool as he slotted home the equaliser.
Tuks came close again 14 minutes from time, after Zungu laid off a good ball to Aubrey Ngoma, who curled his left-footed effort goalwards, but he was denied by a solid stop from goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.
In the dying seconds, Tuks had another opportunity to steal the victory, but Niang was thwarted by Sandilands, who palmed away the attacker's left-footed effort to keep the scores level.