Babina Noko frustrate star-studded Sundowns

In a game of contrasting halves, Sekhukhune United and Mamelodi Sundowns played to a 1-1 draw at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in the DStv Premiership on Saturday afternoon.

As expected, Sundowns immediately took control of the game and held much of the ball in the first five minutes. Penned back, Sekhukhune camped in their half and looked to keep the reigning league champions at bay.

Themba Zwane, Gaston Sirino and Neo Mama caused problems in the Babina Noko half, as they looked for openings with slick movement on and off the ball.

With 16 minutes on the clock, Sundowns found the back of the net following a great passing sequence on the right hand side of the Sekhukhune box, however, the goal was chalked off due to Peter Shalulile being caught offside.

Khuliso Mudau and Aubrey Modiba were presented with some of the best chances in the game as the half-hour mark approached, but were unable to keep their shots on target. The Brazilians remained the more progressive side and were patient in the build-up play.

Just after the 37th minute, Sekhukhune made way in the Sundowns half and created a couple of goal scoring opportunities, however, Downs remained solid at the back.

Downs took the lead on the stroke of halftime, as Zwane and Sirino connected in a well-constructed passing sequence, with Peter Shalulile pouncing on a low cross that was played into the area.

The Sekhukhune United halftime team talk seemed to have worked and they levelled matters just seconds after the break. In a captain’s effort, Linda Mntambo’s goal sparked life into their game play.

With an hour played at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, Sundowns regained their passing touch in search of a second goal, while the home side had moments of their own.

Babina Noko troubled the Downs backline from set-piece situations as the clock hit 70 minutes and grew in confidence due to the Brazilians' uncharacteristic mistakes.

Sekhukhune looked to have gone into game management mode, and made a defensive substitution with the introduction of Denwin Farmer. The home side defended deep in looking to ward off the Downs attacks.

In what was a valiant effort from Sekhukhune in the second half, the two sides shared the spoils at the Peter Mokaba stadium in a 1-1 stalemate.

Sekhukhune United: (0) 1 (Mntambo 46’)

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 1 (Shalulile 44’)

Sekhukhune United:Nsabatha, Mobbie, Motsepe, Cardoso, Ntiya-Ntiya, Mokwana (Masiya 28’), Mntambo, Kabwe (Mahlangu 46’), Letsoalo (Nxumalo 86’), Makhubu (Mosiatlhaga 46’), Mabasa (Farmer 76’)

Mamelodi Sundowns:Williams, Mudau (Morena 82’), Modiba (Lakay 82’), De Reuck, B.Onyango, Mkhulise, Mokowena, Maema (Kapinga 82’), Zwane (Mbule 82’), Sirino (Kutumela 73’), Shalulile