But Free State Stars are the better side at the Charles Mopeli Stadium
Pitso Mosimane has managed a good away point in his first match in charge of Mamelodi Sundowns as they played to a 1-1 draw with Free State Stars at the Charles Mopeli Stadium on Wednesday night.
The match was interrupted by rain early on, but Sundowns took the lead through Eleazar Rodgers. They were pegged back in the second half as Tebogo Langerman scored an own goal for them.
Stars had the better of the chances in the game and looked the most likely to score after that, but both teams had to settle for a point in the end.
Mosimane largely kept the same team that had played for much of the campaign, though veteran Zimbabwean Esrom Nyandoro was axed from midfield to be replaced by Thami Sangweni.
Richard Henyekane was given another run up front alongside Rodgers and Katlego Mphela made a first appearance on the bench for Sundowns this season as he works his way back from a knee injury.
His introduction in the second period was possibly a telling moment for both club and country with the national side desperate to get their leading marksman back for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The home side had an early chance through Moeketsi Mvula, but his effort was cleared off the line as the rain pelted down, forcing the players off the field just a minute later.
The match resumed after a break of around 30 minutes and it was Stars who continued where they left off, this time Dove Wome forcing Wayne Sandilands to make a fine stop with his legs.
Sundowns began to come more into the match after that and Teko Modise should have had them ahead when he found himself one-on-one with Tsepo Motsoeneng in the Stars goal, but could not finish.
The visitors did take the lead on 24 minutes as brilliant work by Anthony Laffor on the left created the opportunity for Rodgers and he calmly slotted the ball home.
Motsoeneng could then only push Modise’s long-range drive into the path of Rodgers, but the striker could not convert the rebound.
Mphela made his entrance for his first appearance of the season with 22 minutes to go as he replaced Rodgers, but five minutes later the home side were level. Langerman could only turn the ball into his own net from Wome’s corner.
That was the way it stayed despite a late flurry from the home side and perhaps both coaches will look at this as a point gained rather than two lost.
Next up for Sundowns is a home meeting with Black Leopards on Sunday.