Johannesburg – The much-vaunted Tshwane derby failed to live up to expectations as SuperSport United were held to a goalless draw by neighbours Mamelodi Sundowns in the long-awaiting DStv Premiership tie at Lucas Moripe Stadium yesterday afternoon.
A result in this encounter would have put to bed arguments about who the early pace-setters are in the race to determine the 2020/21 season Tshwane derby kings between PSL champions Downs and arch-rivals Matsatsantsa.
The hosts, SuperSport were dealt a massive blow minutes into the proceedings when midfielder Teboho Mokoena was forced to leave the field injured.
The early exchanges were rather interesting, with Sundowns mainly on the offensive, attacking all the way with Gaston Sirino continuously setting up both Themba Zwane and Peter Shalulile but their attempts were either saved by Ronwen Williams or went wayward.
While log leaders Downs were searching for a goal to break the deadlock, SuperSport’s Thamsanqa Gabuza tried to catch their opponents on the counter, supplying passes in spaces to Kudakwashe Mahachi and the club’s 10-goal leading scorer Bradley Grobler, but it was not to be as they found Denis Onyango unrelenting in the Brazilians goals.
Both sides continued from where they left off after the restart. Shalulile’s attempt in the seventh minute of the second stanza was saved by Williams, who was well-placed to handle the attempt. Two minutes later Zwane lobbed the ball over the advancing Williams but it went over the cross bar.
A fair share of scoring opportunities were squandered by both sides as they were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs ensured they get out of the woods after two early goals by Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Happy Mashiane guaranteed Amakhosi return to Naturena with maximum points in the thrilling 2-1 victory over Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium last night.
It was a game the home side will review when they watch video and rue the chances created but could not be converted.
Mid first half, Ramahlwe Mphahele was called upon to stop the danger from Fagrie Lakay when he made a solo run towards goal but his shot hit the side netting. While Lakay was the chief tormentor of Chiefs, Mduduzi Mdantsane and Thabo Nodada also kept on probing, with Bradley Ralani also in the mix.
Lakay’s persistence was rewarded seven minutes before full-time when he gave The Citizens their opener for his fourth goal of the season after receiving a back pass from substitute Charles Zulu.
Chiefs’ Ngcobo netted after intercepting a bouncing ball from Dumisani Zuma’s chest while Mashiane was set up by Samir Nurkovic to beat City keeper Peter Leeuwenburgh.
Amakhosi coach Gavin Hunt rested his scorers in the second half as he believed the game was in the bag and relief was written all over his face after Chiefs got their third win of the season and moved out of the relegation zone to eighth place on the log, with a record of four draws and the same number of losses.
The encounter ended dramatically with City’s Lakay, Nodada and Mdantsane bombarding Chiefs keeper Daniel Akpeyi in search for an equaliser but the visitors held on until the final whistle.
Baroka 0 – 1 Swallows
TS Galaxy 0 – 1 Chippa
Celtic 1 – 1 Stellenbosch
Arrows 1 – 0 Tshakhuma.
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