Absa Premiership

Goalless draw doesn't help Sundowns or Wits in Chiefs chase

2020-01-07 22:01
Pitso Mosimane
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns failed to make their numerical advantage count as they played out to a goalless draw with 10-man Wits in Pretoria.

The top-of-the-table clash presented both sides with a chance to prove their title-winning credentials, but while Sundowns dominated the match, Wits will certainly be happier with the result.

The Clever Boys were the first side to get a shot on target as Phathutshedzo Nange forced a smart save out of Denis Onyango, but after a bright start for the visitors, Sundowns soon started to gain a foothold in the match and create some problems of their own.

A cutback from the left into the Wits box gave Bafana Bafana star Themba Zwane a chance to shoot, but his effort was deflected away for a corner.

Three minutes later, Zwane was causing more trouble, showing some good feet before delivering a dangerous ball into the area that went just beyond Lebohang Maboe's reach.

Zwane was involved again shortly after the half-hour mark when he delivered a beautiful cross into the area for Sphelele Mkhulise, but his header flew just wide of the target.

Five minutes later it was Sundowns who found themselves under pressure, and only a great tackle from Tebogo Langerman was able to avert the danger.

Back at the other end, Langerman picked out Maboe, whose header was saved by Ricardo Goss in the Wits goal.

Moments later, a great long ball from Onyango presented Maboe with another opportunity to score, but again Goss was on hand to foil the first-time shot.

Sundowns continued to create the majority of the chances in the second half, although the final touch was still eluding them.

Another opening was carved out in the 51st minute when a cross into the area found Sibusiso Vilakazi, but he made a hash of his attempt to play the ball through for Maboe.

Wits had been racking up yellow cards at a steady pace in the opening hour, and their aggressive play finally caught up to them in the 58th minute when Buhle Mkhwanazi was shown a second yellow - and then a red - for a late challenge on Vilakazi.

Gavin Hunt's men were soon forced on the defence as Vilakazi rattled the right post with a curling shot.

But try as they might, Sundowns couldn't crack a Wits defence that has conceded just eight goals in 13 matches this season, even with an extra man at their disposal.

They created several more chances, with Vilakazi coming closest with a powerful shot from right in front that was tipped over the crossbar by Goss, but they failed to find a winning goal as it finished all square at Loftus.

- TEAMTalk

Read more on:    mamelodi sundowns  |  wits  |  absa premiership  |  soccer


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Friday, 24 January 2020
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