Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits played out to an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in their Absa Premiership clash on Sunday afternoon, writes DEAN WORKMAN.
Due to their participation in the Caf Champions League, Sundowns had played fewer games than any other side in the league heading into the encounter.
The lack of games may have contributed to their lowly league standings, but after three wins and a draw in their opening six, Pitso Mosimane’s men needed three points to keep in touch with the league leaders, their opponents, Wits.
Wits bounced back from a draw against Maritzburg United and a loss against Polokwane City with a 2-0 midweek win over Cape Town City. After both Pirates and Chiefs slipped up on Saturday, Gavin Hunt and his men would have been targeting three points to pull away at the top of the table.
Wits started the game the stronger of the two sides and almost took the lead with just two minutes gone. Keegan Ritchie whipped in an inswinging free kick from the right-hand side which was met by Terrence Dzvukamanja, but the midfielder’s header cannoned back off the upright.
The Clever Boys were controlling the game and could have gone two up when Simon Murray ghosted in at the back post. The Scotsman’s header was, however, well saved by Denis Onyango.
The defending Absa Premiership champions then had a chance of their own to break the deadlock four minutes before the break when Toni Silva broke the offside trap. The forward had time to pick his spot but was denied by the outrushing Darren Keet.
After a frantic start to the second stanza where both teams missed opportunities, it was the Brazilians who broke the deadlock with 56 minutes gone.
Gaston Sirino made a bursting run into the Wits box before slipping the ball back to Hlompho Kekana; the Downs captain kept his composure to steer his shot past Keet and give his side the lead.
Hunt’s men then hit back in spectacular fashion through a stunning free kick from Ritchie. The former Chiefs man lined up the set piece from range and hit a curling and dipping strike which left Onyango with little chance, 1-1 the score with 66 minutes played.
Wits were initially lifted by the goal and threatened to take the lead, while Sundowns still remained a threat due to their ability to break with pace.
However, neither side could find the winner and both Mosimane and Hunt had to settle for a share of the spoils in Attridgeville.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix