A 10-man Mamelodi Sundowns missed the chance to cut Kaizer Chiefs’ lead to 3 points at the top of the Absa Premiership after a 2-2 draw with Maritzburg United.
Pitso Mosimane made several changes to his side with Anele Ngcongca, Andile Jalie and Motjeka Madisha all returned, while academy graduate Promise Mkhuma was handed a debut in what was a big opportunity to close the gap on Kaizer Chiefs at the top of the table.
The Brazilians almost got off to the perfect start when Nascimento rose high in the box, but his header crashed against the woodwork before Maritzburg managed to scramble the ball clear with 16 minutes gone.
Mosimane’s men did get their goal on the 25th minute when Hlompho Kekana got on the end of a Gaston Sirino cross putting the ball in the back of the net via a deflection from Rushine de Reuck.
It didn’t take the Team of Choice too long to hit back a De Reuck found himself perfectly positioned to side-foot his shot into an empty net from close-range after the Brazilians failed to deal with an in-swinging free-kick.
1-1 at the break with the game firmly in the balance.
Sundowns came out from the half time break looking determined to take the lead and it didn’t take them long as they were handed a golden opportunity when handled the ball in the box and the referee pointed to the spot five minutes after the restart.
Ricardo Nascimento stepped up and made no mistake in converting from the spot and handing his side the lead.
Again though, it didn’t last long as 8 minutes later Thabiso Kutumela let loose from outside the Sundowns box leaving Dennis Onyango stranded as the ball flew into the bottom corner.
The game was the turned on its head in a matter moments on the 70th minute mark when first Ngcongca missed an open goal after he got on the end of Lakay’s cross, the ball immediately went up to the other end and Nascimento took Kutumela out off the ball. The Sundowns defender received a second yellow and was subsequently sent off.
The game opened up heading into the final stages but neither side could carve out a way to goal and had to settle for the draw.
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