Downs, Chiefs begin with goalless draw

JOHANNESBURG — The South African Premier Soccer League action returned on Tuesday night with a titanic battle in Pretoria as Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs played to an entertaining goalless draw at the Loftus Stadium.


Sundowns had the better of the early exchanges in the match and looked the side that would score first. In the sixth minute, Sundowns captain Teko Modise found some space on the left wing as he cut in and unleashed a right-footed shot, but it went high of goals.

Chiefs were allowing Sundowns a lot of space. As the Amakhosi defence was retreating, Sundowns striker Katlego Mphela got some space in the middle of the park and hit a powerful shot, but unfortunately it went high in the 16th minute.

In the 27th minute, Modise had another crack at Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune from range, but his shot was on the ground this time and this gave Khune enough time to suss out the attempt.

On the stroke of half time, Chiefs could have taken the lead. Young winger George Lebese forced an excellent save from Sundowns keeper Wayne Sandilands when he hit a ferocious left-footed shot from the edge of the box which the keeper parried away in a save.

Five minutes after the break, it should have been 1-0 to Chiefs. This time Lebese was provider as he sent in a delightful cross from the left wing, but Bernard Parker tapped the ball wide with the Sundowns goalkeeper at his mercy.

Six minutes later, Siboniso Gaxa had a fantastic shot from a tight angle out on the right, but Sandilands was excellent as he parried the goalbound shot away.
With 10 minutes remaining in the match, Sundowns were agonisingly denied by Khune.

Downs left-back Tebogo Langerman sent in a sweet cross from the left wing, but Themba Zwane’s pin-point header from six yards was parried over the bar by Khune. The South African international continued his great form from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

It was an entertaining match that saw both sides attack with end-to-end action, but neither keeper was overworked as a midfield battle ensued throughout the match.

Chiefs, who are two points clear at the top of the table, are now in danger of losing their lead on Wednesday night if Orlando Pirates defeat SuperSport United.

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