Highlands Park 1-1 Mamelodi Sundowns: Masandawana miss chance to close gap on Kaizer Chiefs
Sifiso Mbhele, Highlands Park & Sphelele Mkhulise, Mamelodi Sundowns, August 2020
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Peter Shalulile opened the scoring for the Lions of the North, but Masandawana levelled matters through Sphelele Mkhulise

Mamelodi Sundowns came back to hold Highlands Park to a 1-1 draw in a lively PSL match which was played at Dobsonville Stadium on Friday evening. 

Coach Owen Da Gama were hoping to resume their league campaign with a win having succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to SuperSport United in their last match in the competition in March.

Peter Shalulile spearheaded the Lions of the North's attack, while Tapuwa Kapini made his first league appearance of the season in the hosts' goal-posts. 

Meanwhile, Pitso Mosimane's side was targeting a victory in order to close the gap on league log leaders Kaizer Chiefs after drawing 0-0 with Orlando Pirates in midweek.

Gaston Sirino made his return to the starting line-up after serving his two-match suspension, but Masandawana were without Mosa Lebusa, who picked up an injury against Pirates.

Shalulile handed Highlands Park the perfect start as he grabbed an early goal after the Sundowns defence had failed to clear the ball away from danger.

The Namibia international turned well inside the box, before beating Denis Onyango in the visitors' goal to make it 1-0 to Highlands Park six minutes into the match.

Sundowns took control of the match after a short water break and they began creating chances as Kapini was forced to parry Themba Zwane's long-range shot over the crossbar.

The Zimbabwean shot-stopper was then beaten in the 40th minute when Sphelele Mkhulise headed home Sirino's delightful cross to make it 1-1. 

It was end-to-end stuff towards the half-time break as Motjeka Madisha's header was saved by Kapini, before Onyango pulled off a fine low save from Lindokuhle Mbatha's effort.

The score was 1-1 at the interval following a first half which saw Shalulile net his 13th goal of the season - one behind the league's top scorer Frank Mhango of Orlando Pirates.
 
Sundowns struggled to create goalscoring chances after the restart with the Lions of the North sitting deep, while looking to launch quick counter-attacks. 

Mosimane decided to introduce two attack-minded youngsters Keletso Makgalwa and Promise Mkhuma, who was making his professional debut.

Mkhuma nearly made an immediate impact when he controlled the ball well, before firing wide of the target after the Lions of the North's defence was exposed. 

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Mokete Mogaila, who is a speedy winger, was introduced by Da Gama as the hosts looked to snatch a late winning goal against reigning PSL champions.

However, the 25-year-old player was denied twice by Onyango, who made two great saves to ensure that the match ended in a 1-1 draw on the night.

As a result, Highlands Park moved up to the seventh spot on the league standings, while Sundowns remained second on the log - three points behind leaders, Chiefs.

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