Sundowns miss 3 points

Despite Santos playing more than 25 minutes with only ten men, Downs were still unable to find the goal that would see them catch SuperSport United at the top of the Absa Premiership.

With the chance to go top of the log, tied on points with SuperSport, the Brazilians certainly didn’t play like title contenders in the first half. In fact, the first 45 minutes saw Santos as the better of the two sides.

The People’s Team were much more creative in attack, often using the width of the pitch when going forward. In defence Santos were also very impressive as the Sundowns one-man-attack, in the form of Katlego Mphela, struggled to penetrate a very stubborn back four.

The Brazilians did look good early on, especially Elias Pelembe, when he let loose with a powerful shot from the edge of the 18-yard box. Unfortunately for his side his shot sailed inches wide of the upright. But that was about as good as it got for Downs in the first half.

From there on out the Brazilians defence struggled to deal with the pace of the Santos attack. Romano Scott in particular was good down the right flank often supplying dangerous crosses into the box.

In the 13th minute Erwin Isaacs found some space on the edge of the Downs area and with a quick turn he managed to get a shot in on target, but his effort was superbly saved by Brian Baloyi.

Sadly, at the other end of the pitch the Santos’ keeper, Tshepo Motsoeneng, suffered a terrible injury and had to be substituted in the 16th minute, which saw Lee Langevelt replace him.

Santos almost found the opening goal in the 22nd minute. Isaacs got in behind the Brazilians' defence following a ball over the top and as he made his way toward goal Baloyi came off his line. Isaacs proceeded tried to chip the keeper, but Baloyi managed to parry his effort away for a corner.

Santos then looked to have gone in front a couple of minutes later when Eleazar Rodgers met a cross from Scott and fired it into the back of the net, but the goal was ruled off-side.

The second half saw the Brazilians try to change things up immediately as they opted for a more attacking approach, which saw Surprise Moriri replace Franklin Cale.

The game took a bit of a sour turn in the 64th minute when Santos were reduced to ten men after a dangerous looking tackle by Bonginkosi Macala. Just after coming on, Macala was sent off after stamping on Mphela’s foot when contesting for the ball.

From there on out Sundowns mounted attack after attack on the Santos goal, but time and again they failed to break down their defence.

In fact, the People’s Team had the best chance of the half when Mogogi Gabonamangi struck the woodwork in the 81st minute with a powerful 25-yard shot.

In the end neither team could find the winning goal and the sides shared the points.