Chippa United 0-0 Mamelodi Sundowns: Downs denied top spot by stubborn Chilli Boys
Chippa United denied Mamelodi Sundowns the opportunity to move top of the Premiership table by holding them to a goalless draw

Chippa United and Mamelodi Sundowns met for the second time in less than a month at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Downs came off a midweek win over Bidvest Wits, and were in need of another maximum points to temporarily leapfrog Baroka FC, who face Platinum Stars on Sunday.

They made only one change from the Khama Billiat-inspired midweek triumph, while the home side made two changes, with Moeketsi Sekola returning to the side to lead the attack.

The home side was not overawed by the occasion, having gotten the better of the visitors recently in the Telkom Knockout Cup.

They provided the game’s first clear-cut chance when Abel Mabaso found space inside the box before he fired at goal, only to be denied by post in the opening 10 minutes.

The visitors were finding it difficult to assert their authority on the day, although the combination of Billiat, Percy Tau and Sibusiso Vilakazi kept the hosts on their toes.

The industrious trio made James Okwuosa and company work around the clock as they won numerous free-kicks in and around their penalty box inside the opening 25 minutes.

As for the home side, they were looking very threatening on the counter-attack and nearly caught the seven-time PSL champions off guard on a number of occasions.

Tau found himself through on goal after the half-hour mark, but he failed to get proper control on the ball, allowing Daniel Akpeyi to rush off his line and prevent him from breaking the deadlock.

Downs started the second half on the front-foot in search of the elusive opener, but they were continuously denied by a resolute Chilli Boys backline.

On the other hand, they were almost made to pay following a misunderstanding between Bangaly Soumahoro and Denis Onyango nearly allowed Paseka Mako to profit after 54 minutes.

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A familiar face entered the fray in Samuel Julies, who scored the winner in the cup triumph three weeks ago, and was looking to inflict another blow on his former employees.

They had to make a forced change when goalkeeper Akpeyi was unable to continue in the 66th minute due to injury and the Nigerian was replaced by Brighton Mhlongo.

With chances few and far between from both sides, the enthralling encounter in the Port Elizabeth ended in a goalless draw.

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