Highlands Park continued their unbeaten return to the Absa Premiership as they held 10-man Mamelodi Sundowns to a goalless stalemate on Wednesday.
The result at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium sees the Brazilians shift up to fifth place on the log with 5 points from their initial three matches, even though the Lions of the North are up to eleventh just after a third straight draw.
Sundowns liked early dominance, but found Highlands’ defence a hard nut to crack. Junior Sibande was specially exceptional, typically popping up in just the proper place to put an conclude to any harmful moves from the hosts.
The Brazilians’ greatest hope for a goal in the initial 50 % came in the 35th minute when Gaston Sirion played a fantastic diagonal ball into the penalty area – Jeremy Brockie lined up to make a diving header, but Sello Motsepe managed to make a critical interception.
The Lions of the North supplied fairly very little in attack, although they had the greatest prospect of the initial 50 %. In injuries time a error at the back from Wayne Arendse gifted Sabelo Nyembe a sight of goal, but he lashed a volley significant and large.
Controversy struck early in the 2nd 50 % when ‘Downs defender Ricardo Nascimento was sent off – evidently for an unsavoury remark toward the referee – leaving the home facet with just 10 men from the 51st minute onward.
Inspite of their numerical downside, ‘Downs nearly claimed the lead in the 73rd minute – a impressive header from Arendse looked destined for the back of the net, but Sibande made a heroic clearance off the line to maintain the score line blank.
The Brazilians once more came close to breaking the deadlock in the 87th minute, as substitute Lyle Lakay – with his initial contact of the ball – compelled Highlands goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini into a diving save with a shot immediate from a no cost kick.
Sundowns will be in action this weekend when they face Cape City City in the initial leg of the MTN8 semifinals, even though Highlands will be away at Baroka FC in the league next midweek.
Sundowns: Onyango, Ncgongca, Arendse, Nascimento, Langerman, Sirino, Kekana, Zwane, Vilakazi (Lakay 86’), Meza (Tony Silva 81’), Brockie (Madisha 55’)
Highlands: Kapini, Mokoena, Sibande, Motsepe, Mofokeng (Versuur 61’), Mahlangu (Motlafi 68’), Rae (Mbunjana 81’), Haoseb, Mvala, Mbatha, Nyembe