Newly crowned champions Mamelodi Sundowns were held to a goalless draw by Swallows FC in the DStv Premiership at the Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Brazilians came into this game without a number of key players, including Denis Onyango, Kermit Erasmus, Keletso Makgalwa, Soumahoro Bangaly and Sphelele Mkhulise.
The game got off to an even start in the opening exchanges with both teams feeling their way into the encounter.
Swallows produced the first real chance at goal in the eighth minute but Musa Nyatama fired his effort straight into the hands of Reyaad Pieterse.
Sundowns had a chance of their own in the 19th minute when Peter Shalulile cut the ball back to Aubrey Modiba, who saw his shot blocked inside the box.
Mosa Lebusa should have broken the deadlock in the 39th minute when he connected with a Lyle Lakay in-swinging free kick, but could not guide his effort on target.
Shalulile came close to making it 1-0 just before the break when he controlled Modiba’s pass in the box before he tried to sort his feet out, but ran out of time as the ball was cleared for a corner.
Sundowns were forced into making a substitution early in the second half when Zwane picked up an injury and was subsequently replaced by Sibusiso Vilakazi.
The Brazilians nearly took the lead in the 53rd minute when Modiba unleashed a powerful strike from just outside the box but Tshabalala did well to palm his effort away from goal.
Modiba had another chance to break the deadlock in the 64th minute after some slick one-touch passing, however, his first-time effort narrowly missed the upright.
The champions continued to press forward and were knocking on the door after 71 minutes of play as Rushine De Reuk saw his glancing header sailing just over the bar after connecting with a Modiba corner before Shalulile’s attempt was foiled at the last second by Sait.
Sundowns then opted to bring on fresh legs in the 77th minute as Mauricio Affonso replaced Lebohang Maboe, before a double change four minutes later as Khuliso Mudau and Modiba made way for Thapelo Morena and Haashim Domingo.
Swallows had a chance to put the game to bed in the 85th minute but Pieterse made a top save to deny Basadien’s deflected effort.
Both teams pressed forward in the closing stages but neither side were able to find the back of the net and forced to share the spoils in Soweto.
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