Mamelodi Sundowns hit a snag in Polokwane as the Absa Premiership Defending Champions were held to a goalless draw by Baroka at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday night.
Baroka proved too stubborn to break down in the initial stages especially in the midfield where the home side applied a high pressing strategy. The Brazilians were not allowed to play their normal free flowing football but got better just over ten minutes into the match and enjoyed over 60% of ball possession.
Sibusiso Vilakazi turned on the magic in the 17th minute, when he dribbled his way from his own half to release Tebogo Langerman in the Baroka box. Langerman was very unlucky to hit the side-netting, after what looked like Sundowns’ first real chance at goal.
In the 39th minute, Vila was at it again, coming from the right wing with some nifty footwork and finding Hlompho Kekana this time around, creating space to let rip from outside the box but narrowly missed the target.
The first half ended with both sides stuck at 0-0 but Sundowns coming up stronger with a lot of ball possession in the final third.
Six minutes into the second half Anele Ngcongca ventured into the Baroka half and found Kekana in the home side’s D-line with a clever pass, again the Captain attempted his trademark shot and was within inches of goal this time around.
Sundowns finally conjured another chance at goal with 75 minutes on the clock as the ball fell to Lebohang Maboe on the edge of the area, but Elvis Chipezeze was well-positioned to make a good save.
Baroka ended the game with 10-men as Matome Kgoetyane received his marching orders for a reckless tackle on Tebogo Langerman in stoppage-time, but it mattered little as the game ended in a draw.
LINEUP: Denis Onyango; Anele Ngcongca, Motjeka Madisha, Mosa Lebusa, Tebogo Langerman, Tiyani Mabunda, Hlompho Kekana (Andile Jali 75′), Thapelo Morena, Sibusiso Vilakazi (Sphelele Mkhulise 73′), Ali Meza (Mauricio Affonso 52′), Lebohang Maboe.