Mamelodi Sundowns were full of confidence going into their game on Tuesday night.
Masandawana came off a victory over fellow title contenders Bidvest Wits on the weekend. They went into the game knowing that a victory would take them top of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) table.
The Brazilians have displayed a professional work ethic throughout the hectic schedule. Pitso Mosimane’s men have, however, felt the effects of the congested fixtures as they were missing star players such as Denis Onyango and Khama Billiat to name a few. Sundowns also missed their midfield stalwart Tiyani Mabunda who was suspended for the clash.
Meanwhile the Chilli Boys were not in Pretoria to just make up the numbers. They were buoyed on by the fact that the reverse fixture between the two sides finished even. Dan Malesela’s men were looking to make a game out of the clash as they looked to get back to winning ways.
The match began as a cagey affair as both teams looked to get a feel for the encounter. Neither team could firmly assert themselves. The first meaningful chance on goal fell to Sundowns in the 16th minute. Hlompho Kekana’s header seemed to have taken Chippa keeper Daniel Akpeyi by surprise but the Nigerian did just enough to deny the midfielder on the goal line.
Meanwhile, Sundowns goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands was virtually a passenger for most of the first half. Chippa’s intricate passing in the middle of the park did little to trouble the Downs defence. Sandilands would finally be tested after the half hour mark. Andile Mbenyane’s audacious effort, as he cut in on the inside, was well saved by the keeper.
Sundowns was winning the midfield battle and their use of the diagonal ball proved effective but they lacked the required penetration in attack as the score remained deadlocked.
The match, however, was interrupted in the 42nd minute due to a power failure in the surrounding precinct. A decision was taken by the match commissioner and other stakeholders to abandon the match. The game will now have to take place within the next 48 hours. This could prove a logistical nightmare as Sundowns are scheduled to take on Cape Town City on Friday night. According to the rules the match will resume from the 42nd minute onwards.