Chiefs hold Downs in league opener
Posted: 4 August 2018 Time: 01:26 pm
Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns began the defence of their title with a 1-1 draw against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday afternoon.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele opened the scoring for Amakhosi after just eight minutes, as he dispossessed Gaston Sirino just outside the box before going inside to strike a low shot past Denis Onyango, 0-1.
Giovanni Solinas’ charges were playing deep in their own half and looked to unsettle Masandawana on counter-attacks with Billiat's apce.
Ricardo Nascimento eventually levelled matters for Pitso Mosimane’s troops in the 25th minute from the penalty spot after Daniel Cardoso was judged to have fouled Jeremy Brockie inside the box.
Brockie almost spectacularly sent Masandawana ahead eight minutes before the break with a half-volley from inside the edge of the box but his strike bounced on top of the crossbar.
There was still time for either side to go into the lead before halftime but they failed to create clear cut chances.
Khama Billiat should have made it 2-1 for Amakhosi eight minutes into the second stanza after going through on the left side of the box but his low strike was palmed away by Denis Onyango.
The Glamour Boys were enjoying a good spell of possession towards the hour-mark but were unable to make the dominance count.
However, Brockie almost punished Chiefs in the 62nd minute after slipping away from his markers inside the box, but Amakhosi goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune made a crucial save.
Siphiwe Tshabalala had a decent chance to give Solinas’ men the lead 20 minutes before time after finding himself with a lot of space inside the box but his chipped effort sailed over the bar.
Billiat also had an opportunity to get on the scoresheet for the visitors 15 minutes before time with a free-kick just outside the box but his curling effort went over the bar.
The Brazilians upped the tempo and also brought on the likes of Lebohang Maboe and Tiyani Mabunda.
However, neither side could find another goal in the closing stages of the second half and had to settle for a share of the spoils.
HOME: Mamelodi Sundowns
Coach: Pitso Mosimane
AWAY: Kaizer Chiefs
Coach: Giovanni Solinas