Mamelodi Sundowns failed to close in on Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs with a goalless draw away to Baroka FC on Wednesday.
In the absence of Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino, the champions brought back Lebohang Maboe to partner Jose Ali Meza as Maurico Affonso dropped to the bench, while Bakgaga recalled Denwin Farmer for defensive stability.
Masandawana started promisingly through a blistering run down the line from Meza, causing the hosts into a spot of bother however the danger was evidently averted.
Sundowns shot-topper Denis Onyango was the first called into action in the 12th minute as the Ugandan thwarted Tshidiso Patjie from a one-on-one breakthrough with a smart stop.
Sibusiso Vilakazi came close to breaking the deadlock with a snapshot from the edge of the area, but Elvis Chipezeze smothered the attacker as the visitors upped the intensity.
Masandawana regained conscious three minutes later and found Tebogo Langerman with a clear sight on goal from the edge of the area, but the full-back fired inches wide of Elvis Chipezeze's upright.
In the second half, both outfits remained unchanged from the first half as the home side came out firing right at the restart although Gerald Phiri Junior’s free-kick went wide of the far corner.
Pitso Mosimane needed inspiration as his side looked all over the place up front after drafting in Affonso for Meza on 52 minutes. However, Baroka proved tough to crack despite Masandawana probing from all fronts but their star-studded armory failed to crack the whip.
The match as such leaned to a battle in and around the centre of the pitch as tough tackling along with strong 50-50 challenges took over towards the end.
Baroka ended with a man short after Matome Kgoetyane earned a straight red for a poor challenge in added time, as the spoils were shared in Polokwane.
Baroka: Chipezeze, Farmer, Mosele, Kgoetyane, Shozi, Ngubane, Kambala, Nxumalo, Mbulu, Phiri Jnr, Patjie.
Subs: Dlamini, Makume, Ntswane, Madondo, Mongae, Mdantsane, Nsimba.
Sundowns: Onyango, Langerman, Ngcongca, Madisha, Mabunda, Kekana, Lebusa, Morena, Meza, Vilakazi, Maboe.
Subs: Mweene, Jali, Coetzee, Lakay, Ngoma, Affonso, Mkhusile.