AmaZulu 3-3 Mamelodi Sundowns: Vilakazi rescues a point for the Brazilians
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Both Usuthu and Sundowns had to settle for a share of the spoils at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Sunday afternoon

AmaZulu had a difficult week as they had to deal with news of Siyabonga Nomvethe's retirement from professional football, but they showed no respect to a Mamelodi Sundowns team that fielded all their best possible players. 

The Brazilians needed the three points points to try and forget crashing out of two Cup competitions - the Caf Champions League and MTN8 - in a space of a week.

Usuthu got the game to a flying start with Butholezwe Ncube opening the scoring inside the opening five minutes, but Phakamani Mahlambi, on his debut for Sundowns, levelled matters after 28 minutes.

Toni Silva then fired Sundowns ahead in the second half, only for Jabulani Ncobeni to restore parity with a superb finish later on.

Cavin Johnson's men found themselves in front again through Bongi Ntuli, but there was still time for substitute Sibusiso Vilakazi to rescue a point for the Tshwane giants towards the end of the match. 

The result didn't have any impact on the log table as both AmaZulu and Sundowns remained seventh and eighth respectively.

Mosimane handed Mahlambi and Reyaad Pieterse their starts in the colours of Sundowns, and the speedy attacker didn't disappoint as he made some dangerous runs in the final third. 

Usuthu though were not to be outdone as they also handed Ntuli a debut against his parent club. 

Johnson's charges took the game to Sundowns from the word go, and Usuthu's first goal came in the fifth minute after Andile Jali was dispossesed cheaply before Ncube beat Pieterse to make it 1-0.

After a frantic 23 minutes which saw both sides launch attack after attack, Sundowns were finally rewarded following a defensive error on the part of AmaZulu as Mahlambi made it 1-1. 

Even after conceding Usuthu still showed no respect to Sundowns; clearly playing according to the coach's instructions. Johnson vowed before the start of the game that this was going to be an exciting match and it turned out to be. 

However, he will be worried with how his team continues to leak goals in crucial moments of the game. His defence was often found wanting as they struggled to clear their lines whenever Sundowns pushed forward.      

Both goalkeepers had to come to the party on several ocassions, but Usuthu nearly restored their lead when Ncobeni beat his marker for pace inside the box before firing against the woodwork with Pieterse well-beaten. 

The second half produced four goals, and it was Silva who handed Sundowns the lead after dribbling past Gumede to face Josephs, who stood no chance of stopping the low shot, much to the delight of Sundowns fans out in the stands.

It didn't take long for the home side to bounce back as Ncobeni made amends for his first half miss to fire past Pieterse, who had a terrible debut in between the sticks for Sundowns.  

It was 3-2 to AmaZulu after 72 minutes as Ntuli, who was deemed surplus to requirements by Mosimane, pounced after another defensive error by Sundowns. 

But credit must be given to Usuthu players for improvising in the lead up to the goal. 

At this stage, Sundowns looked dead and buried as they didn't show any sense of urgency going forward, and Usuthu looked set for a big win against the defending champions. 

But Mosimane had other ideas as he threw on the likes of Lyle Lakay and Sibusiso Vilakazi to aid the attack. 

The move paid off as Lakay played a ball to Langerman, who then found Vilakazi with a delightful cross inside the AmaZulu box.

Vila didn't make a mistake as he slotted the ball past his former teammate Josephs to make it 3-3 on the day.

While this would feel more like two points dropped for both sides, Usuthu would be pleased to have maintained their unbeaten record at home this season.

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