Wits peg back Sundowns

2012-03-13 21:47

Pretoria - Wits put a dent in Mamelodi Sundowns’ PSL title hopes by the holding the log-leaders to a 1-1 draw at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday night.
Nyasha Mushekwi struck early for the Brazilians, but the Clever Boys claimed a draw thanks to a late equaliser from youngster Muhammed Patel.
Sundowns dominated the opening exchanges and it was no surprise when they took an 11th minute lead through Nyasha Mushekwi. Right-back Siyabonga Ngubane provided a great cross on the overlap and the Zimbabwean striker turned the ball home from close range.
Wits recovered from the early setback to establish a foothold in the game, though just before the half hour mark they almost found themselves two goals down when Mushekwi got on the end of a cut-back from Lebohang Mokoena but his header was well saved by Emille Baron.
Five minutes later ‘Downs had a strong appeal for a penalty kick turned down when David De Oliveira bundled Mushekwi over in the 18-yard area without getting any kind of contact on the ball, but the referee waved away the home side’s appeals.
In injury time at the end of the first half Sundowns goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands was called into his first significant action, making an excellent double save to keep out successive shots from De Oliveira and Sibusiso Vilakazi.
Early in the second half it was Baron’s turn to show his excellent reflexes as he turned away a powerful header from Clayton Daniels, who had got up highest to meet a Teko Modise free kick delivered from the right flank.
Four minutes later De Oliveira was mere inches away from bringing Wits on level terms. The midfielder let fly with a beautifully-struck drive from long range that had the beating of Sandilands but crashed back into play off the underside of the crossbar.
On 72 minutes the hosts needed another great save from Sandilands to keep themselves in the ascendancy, as he parried away a curling effort from Sibusiso Vilakazi before a follow-up shot was cleared off the goal-line by Method Mwanjali.
Sundowns’ inability to find a second killer goal came back to haunt them in the final minute of regulation time when substitute Patel scored from close range, turning home a rebound after Sandilands had saved a shot direct from a free kick by Daylon Appolis.
Sundowns thought they had snatched the win at the death when Katlego Mphela forced the ball into the back of the net, but he was flagged offside and the goal was scratched off, leaving the match tied at 1-1.

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 1 (Mushekwi 11’)
Wits (0) 1 (Patel 90’)

Sundowns: Sandilands; Ngubane, Mwanjali, Daniels, Masenamela, Moriri, Kekana, Modise (Zwane 78’), Pelembe (Laffor 65’), Mushekwi (Mphela 60’), Mokoena
Baron; Pule (Appolis 46’), Mabizela, Spencer, Phungwayo, Maselesa, Gumede, Sib. Vilakazi, De Oliveira (Jayiya 85’), Langwe, Sif. Vilakazi (Patel 80’)