Lions relegated despite Downs draw
Posted: 27 May 2017 Time: 13:58
Mamelodi Sundowns secured themselves CAF Champions League football for next season, despite a 2-2 draw against Highlands Park, who are relegated from the Absa Premiership.
A fairly tame start to the game saw chances few and far between in the opening 15 minutes, although Franklin Cale came close from a free-kick which brought a fine save from Denis Onyango.
It was then Sundowns’ turn to threaten a few minutes later with Sibusiso Vilakazi bursting through on goal, although his touch let him down to allow the defence to just nip in and clear the danger.
Thapelo Morena then came close midway through the first-half after getting on the end of a deep delivery, although he was unable to find the target as Highlands were let off the hook.
The Brazilians eventually made the breakthrough with eight minutes of the first-half remaining as Themba Zwane unleashed a blistering effort which left the goalkeeper no chance.
Four minutes before half-time and Pitso Mosimane’s men were 2-0 up after winning a penalty after Tapuwa Kapini brought down Yannick Zakri in the area, with Thabo Nthethe stepping up to slot home from the spot.
The Lions weren’t out of it yet, though, and managed to pull one back just before the break, Seun Ledwaba firing home after being played in by Surprise Moriri.
Highlands arguably should have been level shortly after the restart as Mothobi Mvala broke through on goal with only Onyango to beat, but somehow failed to even test the goalkeeper as he put his effort wide.
Sundowns looked set to restore their two-goal cushion as Zakri put on the afterburners as he barged his way towards goal, only for his touch to let him down and allow the defence to just nip the ball away at the last moment.
The Tshwane giants then had Onyango to thank for keeping them in the lead as he did well to save from Cale’s shot with 15 minutes remaining.
However, the Lions would eventually get their equaliser as Mothobi Mvala struck in the 94th minute, although the result was not enough for Highlands Park, who end rock bottom and head straight back to the NFD.
HOME: Highlands Park
Coach: Les Grobler
AWAY: Mamelodi Sundowns
Coach: Pitso Mosimane