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Olen Park
08/04/2009 19:30

Dillon Sheppard

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Sundowns held by Stars

Posted: 8 April 2009 Time: 21:38

Ted Dumitru’s first League game in charge of Mamelodi Sundowns proved to be something of an uneventful affair as the Brazilians were held to a goalless draw by Platinum Stars at Olen Park.

Downs created the better opportunities, but a combination of poor finishing and some good goalkeeping from Tapuwa Kapini – who conceded six goals in the Tycoons’ last League game, against Golden Arrows – ensured that the hosts’ clean-sheet remained intact.

Thando Mngomeni almost got Sundowns off to a spectacular start in the eighth minute with a long-range effort that Kapini tipped over the crossbar.

Midway through the first half Phumudzo Manenzhe almost gave Stars the lead, but Brian Baloyi made a great save with his feet to deny the former Pirates and Wits striker. Benedict Vilakazi then had a chance to put his side ahead in the 24th minute, but he shot wide from just 12 yards out.

On 38 minutes Kapini did some great work to keep out a shot from Surprise Moriri, and three minutes later he produced another terrific save to tip the ball around the post for a corner after a header from Sibusiso Zuma.

Zuma had another chance to open the scoring just two minutes into the second half, but he put his close-range effort wide.

Kapini made another notable save in the 49th minute, punching away a free-kick from Mngomeni as the Brazilians looked to up the pressure on the hosts.

Zuma was withdrawn by Dumitru just before the hour-mark, with the wily coach throwing on Katlego Mphela as a substitute. The young striker’s first contribution was a long-range effort that whistled over Kapini’s crossbar.

On 72 minutes Moriri got on the end of a corner-kick, but he failed to hit the target from just six yards out.

Stars substitute Brad Grobler tested Baloyi with a good shot in the 81st minute, but the experienced goalkeeper was more than equal to the task.

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