Sundowns stay top after thrilling goalless draw against Pirates
Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns played out to an entertaining goalless draw at a jam-packed Orlando Stadium on Monday evening.
The highly-anticipated encounter was delayed for 15 minutes due to high traffic volume around the stadium as scores of fans were still making their way into the stadium on a wet Monday evening.
Both sides showed a lot of energy for the entire first half, both creating plenty of chances to find the opening goal.
Hlompho Kekana as he did on previous occasions when these two sides met, tried to catch Wayne Sandilands off guard with one of his trademark long-range efforts which forced the keeper into a rushed save.
Luvuyo Memela and Thembinkosi Lorch were combining well at the other end of the pitch for the home side but they just couldn’t find the Midas touch in their well-worked build-up plays.
The reigning champions were arguably fortunate not to go a man down as Lebo Maboe was only given a yellow card for a professional foul on Memela who was bearing down on Denis Onyango’s goal.
Memela and Lorch were again involved in a goalmouth scramble in the dying moments of the first half but Brazilian defender Ricardo Nascimento was alert to the danger and cleared his lines as the sides went into the break goalless.
The second stanza was a more subdued affair with the tempo of the game dropping significantly. Zambian international Augustine Mulenga had a glorious chance to score in the 75th minute as he got in between the Sundowns centre backs but Onyango showed why he is the continent's best goalkeeper, producing a quality save to deny the striker from almost point blank range.
The point sees the defending champions consolidate their spot at the top of the log while the Buccaneers also remain three points adrift from the Brazilians in third position.