Downs, Wits share the spoils


Terrence Dzvukamanja was unlucky not to have grabbed the lead for Wits in the second minute with a free-header in the box following a brilliant cross from Keegan Ritchie, but his effort crashed against the upright.

Gavin Hunt’s charges had the upper hand in the first quarter of an hour effectively, threatening through their wing play with Thulani Hlatshwayo and Ritchie playing dangerous crosses into the Sundowns box.

Pitso Mosimane’s men were stifled from playing their usual passing game as the Clever Boys were pressing them high and quick to close them down at the back.

Scottish striker Simon Murray almost broke the deadlock for the visitors on the half-hour mark with a powerful header inside the box that was saved by Masandawana goalkeeper Denis Onyango.

The Brazilians started to get into the match only after 35 minutes looking to penetrate Wits through the middle but it was not working out.

Gaston Sirino should have found the breakthrough for Masandawana five minutes before the break after beating the offside trap to go one-on-one with Darren Keet, who did well to make a crucial save with his left leg.

There were opportunities for both sides to snatch the lead towards the end of the half, but they could not take their chances as the first stanza ended without goals.

Murray had a glorious chance to break the deadlock for Wits three minutes into the second stanza after intercepting a terrible back pass, but was palmed away by Onyango.

Hlompho Kekana finally broke the deadlock for the Brazilians in the 56th minute with a strike from just inside the box.

Ritchie brought the Clever Boys level in the 67th minute with a sensational left-footed free-kick from 25-yards out that left Onyango with no chance.

It was anybody’s game with a quarter of an hour remaining as both sides were exchanging attacks frequently.

The Brazilians almost snatched the winner as Phakamani Mahlambi's lobbed effort was saved by Keet, with replays suggesting he handled the ball outside of his box as the encounter ended 1-1.