Wasteful Downs Held By Stars
Absa Premiership Report: Mamelodi Sundowns v Free State Stars 21 February 2018
Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 Free State Stars
Date: 21 February 2018
Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Mamelodi Sundowns missed the chance to move seven points clear at the top of the Absa Premiership table after being held to a 1-1 draw by Free State Stars.
Tau grabbed the lead for the Brazilians in the fourth minute with a clinical left-footed shot inside the box after being teed up by Gaston Sirino.
Stars played deep in their own half and lacked numbers whenever they won possession up field, while Masandawana took their time on the ball.
Khama Billiat almost doubled the lead for the hosts in the 21st minute after combining well with Tau inside the box but his strike was comfortable for Badra Sangare at the near post.
The home side were forced into an early substitution in the 26th minute as defender Bangaly Soumahoro had a problem with his knee and was replaced by Motjeka Madisha.
Jeremy Brockie should have made it 2-0 for Pitso Mosimane’s men two minutes later after he was sent through by Billiat one-on-one with Sangare just inside the box but the New Zealander’s low strike went narrowly wide, before the striker was brilliantly denied by the Stars shot-stopper moments later.
Harris Tchilimbou had a chance to equalise for Ea Lla Koto five minutes before the break with a header at the near post but goalkeeper Denis Onyango produced a good save to ensure Sundowns went into the break leading.
Siphelele Mthembu almost equalised for the visitors one minute into the second half withsnapshothot on his stride after going through on goal, but his strike ruffled the side- netting.
Mthembu did find the reply for Stars eight minutes after the break, though, with a low strike at the second time of asking after seeing his initial effort blocked, 1-1.
Tiyani Mabunda almost restored the lead for the home side in the 65th minute with a ferocious half-volley from 25-yards but Sangare brilliantly tipped his strike over the crossbar..
With five minutes remaining, Aubrey Ngoma could have found the second goal for the Brazilians with a free header inside the box but his effort went narrowly wide.
Both sides pushed for a winning goal in the closing stages, but 1-1 was how the clash ended at Loftus Versfeld.
Here's how they lined up:
Sundowns: Sundowns: 14. Onyango, 4. Langerman, 29. Soumahoro (Madisha 26'), 27. Morena, 16. Nascimento, 7. Manyisa, 33. Billiat, 13. Mabunda, 26. Sirino, 19. Brockie (Zwane 79'), 22. Tau.
Subs: 31. Brimah, 11. Vilakazi, 38. Zulu, 32. Madisha, 25. Ngoma, 18. Zwane, 8. Kekana.