Mamelodi Sundowns shared the spoils at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after being held to a 0-0 draw by Chippa United FC in a tight affair in the DStv Premiership.
The Brazilians could only pick up a point away to Chippa in their first away league match which was played in Port Elizabeth. Both teams failed to create any goal scoring chances in their opening 20 minutes, however, the defending Champions were clear in their intentions as they continued to dominate in ball possession and territory.
It was an end-to-end start with the Chili Boys having the first attack on the ball heading into Downs half to give defenders Grant Kekana and Rushine De Reuck an early test in defense. Downs’ first contribution from the two center halves made good clearances from the hosts’ attempts to enter the Downs box.
With Masandawana searching for spaces to play the ball, full back Khuliso Mudau made great efforts on the right side of the pitch to deliver a dangerous ball in the box, however he was unfortunate to not connect the ball to the runner.
Aubrey Modiba then had a chance at Chippa’s goalie Ismail Watenga swinging in a spectacular volley that could’ve given Downs the lead with the tempo dropping after the half-hour but Downs continued looking for goal scoring opportunities before heading into the half time break.
The start of the second half saw The Brazilians take the game to Chippa United in an attempt to find the back of the net with the first clear chance at goal coming from Mothobi Mvala’s cross into the box to connect perfectly with Peter Shalulile who headed the ball into Watenga’s hands. Masandawana were forced to take shots from afar, with Neo Maema trying his luck from outside the box.
Sundowns looked more dangerous in the final third after the first 20 minutes of the second half and that was after a triple substitution was made, Kermit Erasmus, Thapelo Morena and Gaston Sirino made their way onto the pitch giving Downs more action in attack.
The high-tempo atmosphere was dampened by the the injury of Mudau, who had to be stretchered off by medical staff after picking up an injury on his hamstring.
The result means Sundowns have picked up four points from their two opening games of the league season. The next game for The Brazilians is a trip to KwaZulu-Natal to play against Golden Arrows in the MTN8 Cup Competition on the weekend.
Chippa: Watenga, Mdunyelwa, Hanamub, Pietersen, Seabi (Mkhize 54′), Mokhele, Ngele (Maloisane 87′), Mdlinzo, Dinge (Eva Nga 57′), Zulu, Lebitso.
Sundowns: Onyango, Mudau (Morena 59′), Lakay, De Reuck, G.Kekana, Mvala, Domingo (Vilakazi 85′), Coetzee, Modiba (Erasmus 59′), Maema (Sirino 59′), Shalulile (Safranko 68′).