Sundowns frustrated by Arrows
Msekeli Mvalo of Arrows tackles Themba Zwane (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Mamelodi Sundowns' fifth winless game at Loftus saw them cling on to their lead at the top of the Premiership standings, after being held to a 0-0 draw by Golden Arrows on Wednesday night.
Sundowns have not won at their Pretoria venue since November 20, and have lost one while drawing the last four matches at the rugby stadium.
With Orlando Pirates beating AmaZulu 1-0 in Durban in a simultaneous fixture, it means that the defending champions are in second spot, ironically, because of goal difference.
Sundowns' goal difference ratio is a massive 22 goals while the Buccaneers have a modest nine.
With seven rounds of league matches remaining, Pirates' victory helped them to 43 points -- equal with Sundowns, who claim a point from their stalemate.
Arrows remain rooted in midtable position with 25 points after 23 games played.
The Lamontville outfit started off with much enthusiasm as striker Katlego Mphela tested Calvin Marlin, standing in goal for the injured Wayne Sandilands, in the opening minutes.
Then Sundowns created a host of chances that they failed to convert as striker Nyasha Mushekwi hit the woodwork from a Laffor corner midway through the match.
Mushekwi missed another glorious chance inside the area as he headed wide from a Punch Masenamela cross moments later.
Midfielder Hlompho Kekana soon fired a characteristic shot from distance that sailed wide of goal as the Brazilians went to the interval with a lot to ponder on.
They tried to bring some energy on the offensive, bringing on Lebohang Mokoena for Elias Pelembe.
Just after the hour mark, Kekana attempted another powerful shot that came off the woodwork with Cedric Gumede in the Abafana Bes'thende goal beaten.
Substitute striker Katlego Mphela also attempted a trademark free kick outside the box soon after coming on, but his effort went wide.
Arrows rarely threatened Sundowns in the second half. This is a game Sundowns will look back on with regret if they narrowly fail in their championship campaign at the end of the season. Other strong challengers for the honours are Moroka Swallows, Kaizer Chiefs and Pretoria neighbours, SuperSport United.