Polokwane and Highlands in thrilling draw

Polokwane City and Highlands Park played to an entertaining 2-2 draw in their Absa Premiership clash at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Rise and Shine will feel they should have claimed all three points as they missed a late penalty when the scores were level, while the Lions of the North will see the result as a good one to come away with from a tough trip North.

Highlands started well and looked for an early breakthrough, but they lacked the necessary precision in the final third.

And they were taught a harsh lesson by the hosts, who claimed the lead with their first real chance in the 18th minute – Ghanaian striker Mohammed Anas took full advantage of some sloppy defending and got the better of goalkeeper Marlon Heugh.

Highlands, to their credit, didn’t let the body blow get the better of them and they fought back to level the game at 1-1 in the 35thminute, with Mothobi Mvala once again showing his class as a finisher.

The match was level heading into the break, but the Lions of the North once again started a half strongly and claimed the lead on 52 minutes, with Moeketsi Sekola firing home a fine shot to make it 2-1 in favour of the visitors.

Yet Rise and Shine wasted no time in coming up with a reply, once again catching Highlands napping at the back – much to the frustration of coach Owen da Gama – to equalise through Wiseman Maluleke in the 53rd minute and make it 2-2.

City weren’t afraid to look to the substitute bench for inspiration and had used all three of their changes by the 70th minute, throwing on Marvin Sikhosana, Monde Mpambaniso and Rodney Ramagalela.

They soon earned a penalty and the chance to regain the lead for the first time in the second half, but Highlands’ Heugh dived strongly to his left to push away the spot kick from Anas and ensure the score remained at 2-2.

Both teams will be in Absa Premiership action over the coming weekend, with Polokwane away to Chippa United on Friday night, while Highlands will be at Bloemfontein Celtic on Monday afternoon.

Polokwane City (1) 2 (Anas 18’, W. Maluleke 53’)

Highlands Park (1) 2 (Mvala 35’, Sekola 52’)

Polokwane: H. Ndlovu, Mvelase (Sikhosana 46’), Nkili, Mbonani, Ravhuhali, Mngomezulu (Ramagalela 70’), Phiri, Baloyi (Monde 56’), W. Maluleke, Anas, Booi

Highlands: Heugh, Sibande, Mvala, L. Mokoena, Msimango, Haoseb (Mahlangu 81’), Mogaila (Makudubela 85’), Ramoraka, Shalulile, Sekola (Ndoro 74’), Mbunjana