Phakamani Mahlambi and Reyaad Pieterse made their debuts for Mamelodi Sundowns who played to a thrilling to a 3-3 draw against AmaZulu in their Absa Premiership encounter, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
Cavin Johnson’s will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Absa Premiership champions having been thrashed 3-0 by Bidvest Wits in their most recent league clash.
Pitso Mosimane’s side head into the clash on the back of a two-game winless streak after being eliminated from the CAF Champions League as well as the MTN8 semi-finals at the hands of Horoya and Cape Town City respectively.
Masandawana, are, however unbeaten in the league having drawn twice against Kaizer Chiefs and Highlands Park, while garnering one victory against Polokwane City.
The visitors handed debuts to new signings Reyaad Pieterse and Phakamni Mahlambi respectively.
The two teams had hardly settled when the first goal of the match was scored when Butholezwe Ncube robbed Andile Jali of the ball before firing past Pieterse from outside the area.
Sundowns upped their tempo in search of the equaliser and looked dangerous through the likes of Toni Silva, Ali Meza and Mahlambi. The trio, were presented with a jumber of opportunities, but appeared to not be on the same wavelength
Should have been 2-0 in the 25th minute when a ball into the area found Tapelo Nyongo, but defender Wayne Arendse put his body on the line not once, but twice to ensure that the score stayed 1-0.
Mahlambi opened his scoring in the 29th minute when he latched onto a trademark ball by Kekana to slot past Josephs. The former Bidvest Wits star made no mistake with his second effort after Josephs saved his first.
Silva should have given Sundowns the lead for the first time on the stroke of half-time after being put through on goal with a fine pass by Ricardo Nascimento, however the forward failed to convert his finish despite having beaten Josephs at the first attempt.
Silva made up for his miss at the end of first half with a well-taken goal after putting the ball through the legs of an onrushing defenders as well as the goalkeeper.
Sundowns gifted Usuthu the equaliser a minute later when Silva needlessly gave away the ball, which resulted in Ncubeni levelling matters following a poor attempted clearance by Pieterse.
AmaZulu retook the lead in the 61st minute after yet another poor handling error by Pieterse, with former Sundowns striker Bonginkosi Ntuli swooping from inside the area.
Substitute Sibusiso Vilakazi grabbed a last-gasp equaliser when he got in between the defender and goalkeeper to sneak in Tebogho Langerman’s cross into the area.
In the end, the two teams were forced to share the spoils following an entertaining clash in Durban.