New Zealand

Poor finishing hampers SuperSport and Sundowns in stalemate

Sundowns’ Peter Shalulile had a shot saved (Gallo Images/Backpagepix)

It was honours even at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon as SuperSport United held defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns to a goalless draw.

The first half proved to a closely contested affair, although Sundowns edged their opponents in terms of goalscoring chances created.

The first chance of note arrived after just three minutes of play as Lebohang Maboe saw his speculative effort from over 35 yards snapped up in the SuperSport goal by Ronwen Williams.

Sundowns very nearly got the early breakthrough they were looking for a few minutes later but failed to capitalise as Mothobi Mvala sent a glancing header just wide of the right-hand post from a George Maluleka corner kick.

SuperSport hit back with a chance of their own one minute later but it came to nothing as Thamsanqa Gabuza sliced his shot wide of the goal after being teed up by Gamphani Lungu’s headed pass.

Sipho Mbule fired over the bar in the 21st minute as SuperSport struggled to make their chances count, while at the opposite end of the pitch, Gaston Sirino and Lebohang Maboe failed to hit the target with their respective efforts.

With neither side able to fashion a goal in the opening 45 minutes, however, the scoreline would remain locked at 0-0.

Sundowns started the brightest of the teams after the interval and twice went close to breaking the deadlock as Peter Shalulile saw his goalbound effort saved in the bottom-left corner by Williams, before Themba Zwane skied his shot over the bar from close range.

SuperSport eventually mustered their first noteworthy effort on goal in the 57th minute but Denis Onyango was alert to the danger, gathering Bradley Grobler’s header with relative ease.

Masandawana would eventually wrestle control of proceedings as the match wore on, although later efforts from Kermit Erasmus and Themba Zwane failed to find the mark.

The visitors continued to apply the pressure as the match entered the final 20-minute spell but a lack of cutting edge in front of goal let them down on more than one occasion.

Brian Onyango headed wide of the left-hand post in the 79th minute before substitute Hlompho Kekana sent a long-range strike harmlessly over the bar.

Later efforts from Zwane and Kekana also missed the mark as SuperSport survived the late onslaught to claim a share of the spoils.

– TEAMtalk media

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