Sundowns held by AmaTuks
Posted: 13 December 2014 Time: 14:49
Mamelodi Sundowns were slowed down in their pursuit of log leaders Kaizer Chiefs following a 1-1 Absa Premiership draw against University of Pretoria at Tuks Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In a game of two halves, the home side dominated the first half and scored through Thabo Mnyamane, but the Brazilians ruled the second half and found an equaliser through Khama Billiat.
With both line-ups unchanged, AmaTuks made their intentions clear from the very start as Vuyisile Ntombayithethi forced a fine save from Kennedy Mweene, though Downs really should have been ahead on six minutes.
Teko Modise's free-kick was tipped onto the crossbar and fell perfectly for Billiat, but from less than two meters out he hit the woodwork, though Washtington Arubi may have got a touch.
From there it was all the home side, though that was as much the product of their own good play as it was the Brazilians' woeful defending.
Ntombayithethi should have scored when he was put in on goal on 15 minutes but, caught he in two minds, he dragged his shot wide.
Geoffrey Massa then volleyed just over from the edge of the area, Atusaye Nyondo followed suit from 25 yards out, before Massa was played in and tried to chip Mweene, but the ball sailed wide.
Mnyamane then tested Mweene with a pile-driver which was tipped around the post, but the Tuks man soon had his goal. It came on 37 minutes when he buried from close range after the Sundowns goalie could only parry Massa's free-kick straight at him.
Mnyamane should have had his brace straight after when he was one-on-one, but he dragged his shot across the face of goal.
Arubi then produced a fine save to keep out Billiat's free-kick, before Cuthbert Malajila was bundled over in the box, only for referee Thabo Nkosi to wave play on.
Whatever Pitso Mosimane said to his players at halftime seemed to do the trick as they came out a completely different side.
The equaliser came almost straight away - Billiat with the easiest of taps-ins after being set up by Malajila. It was the young playmaker's fourth goal in as many games.
Downs had the ball in the back of the net soon after through Malajila, who bundled it over the line after Modise struck the woodwork with another free-kick, but he was offside.
The shots continued to rain in on Arubi's goal, with first substitute Anthony Laffor heading wide from a right-wing cross, before Themba Zwane hit the sweetest of volleys, but it sailed just wide.
Then yet another contender for miss of the season on 74 minutes. Laffor burst down the right and picked out Malajila with a pin-point cross, only for the Zimbabwean to skew his shot wide from right in front.
Sundowns continued to push for the winning goal, but in the end they had to settle for a share of the spoils, stretching their unbeaten run to 11 games.
HOME: University of Pretoria
Coach: Sammy Troughton
Formation: four four two
AWAY: Mamelodi Sundowns
Coach: Pitso Mosimane
Formation: four two three one