Mamelodi Sundowns go level on points at the summit with a 1-0 over the AmaKhosi at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening
In the 13th minute Lebohang Mokoena tested the fitness of the AmaKhosi number one with a stunning long range effort. Itumeleng Khune was up to the test and tipped his shot over the woodwork. Two minutes later Chiefs had their first real chance of the match after being quiet for the most part. Siphiwe Tshabalala whipped in a tricky through ball across the face of the goal for Kingston Nkhatha, but Kennedy Mweene’s outstretched fingertip save was enough to push the ball out.
In the opening quarter of the match the Brazilians had the AmaKhosi on the back foot, as they continued to expose the Chiefs defense on the right. During this time the visitors did extremely well to hold onto possession and created a fair amount of opportunities. Laffor had looked dangerous in the Sundowns attack, as he made some good off the ball runs while looking for the through pass.
Chiefs were being restricted early on, although, when they did have the ball they lost it too easily in the middle of the park. Stuart Baxter made a tactical change by moving Tshabalala down the left side of the field and it shook things up in their favour. The AmaKhosi started to look more confident as they approached the final third.
In the 19th minute Tshabalala was gifted with space 30 yards out, but sky rocketed his shot over the poles. A minute later Willard Katsande made a run down the left side before cutting in, and he fluffed his shot high and wide as well.
Just before the half hour mark, Chiefs hit Sundowns on a counter attack after a Downs corner. It was a three against two situation with Bernard Parker on the ball, but the league’s top goalscorer held onto the ball too long and got closed down and eventually fouled by Mashaba. At the other end Khune pulled off a brilliant fingertip reaction save from Mokoena’s glancing header.
For most of the opening half, AmaKhosi’s lethal attack of Parker and Nkhatha were out of the game and did not trouble the Sundowns defense. Before the stroke of half time the Brazilians were struck with a huge blow, when Mashaba who was pivotal down the left was carried off the field and substituted due to an injury.
The home side looked more dangerous in the second period, Nkhatha was more involved in the attacks as Chiefs looked inspired for the win. In the 53rd minute Morgan Gould had his glancing header cleared off the line from a corner delivered in by Tshabalala, and Nkhatha struck the bar from the second ball. Eight minutes later Tshabalala released Nkhatha with a great ball into the 18 yard area, but the Zimbabwean narrowly missed the target.
In the 75th minute the visitors broke the deadlock through Teko Modise with a long range effort from the half way line. Modise lobbed a long ball in search of Khama Billiat who narrowly missed the header which threw Khune off guard, and the ball travelled straight into the back of the net.
The Brazilians held onto their lead and are now joint at the top of the table with the AmaKhosi on 52 points.