Sundowns, Santos in dull draw


The game was not helped by the wet conditions which made life difficult for the players, nor by the tactics of Santos, who set out their stall for the draw from early on.

The Brazilians played some nice football in midfield, but were allowed space and time by a Santos side determined to protect their penalty area at all costs

In a first half of few chances, Lerato Chabangu’s lofted ball picked out Godfrey Sapula, who controlled and shot, but could not beat Wayne Roberts in the Santos goal as the keeper stuck out a boot to deflect the ball wide.

Moriri made Roberts work four minutes into the second half, but the big goalkeeper turned his shot around the post, though the ball may have been going wide in any case.

Chabangu earned himself a free-kick on 65-minutes with a theatrical drive, and then curled his effort from 25-yards into the side-netting.

Sundowns were camped in Santos’ half for much of the second period, but despite some pretty football leading up to the penalty area, they struggled to create clear-cut opportunities as the visitors’ defence held its shape well.

Esrom Nyandoro skidded a long-range effort just wide of Roberts’ far post, a piece of action that epitomized the game – Sundowns restricted to shooting from distance, hoping the wet conditions would make life difficult for the Santos stopper.

Substitute Peter Ndlovu had the ball in the back of the net with six minutes to play, but his headed strike was correctly ruled out for offside. But he should have scored deep in injury time as he had acres of time and space in the penalty area, but the Zimbabwean somehow missed the target with just Roberts to beat.

The result moves Santos onto 35 points, level with third-placed Orlando Pirates and Free State Stars, who remain above them on goal-difference. Sundowns move up once place to 12th.