The home team made one change from the starting lineup that saw off Platinum Stars 2-0 in the quarterfinals at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, as goalkeeper Daniel Akepyi came in for Zama Dlamini, while Pitso Mosimane handed Percy Tau a starting berth in attack in the place of injured Leonardo Castro.
The tie which was highly anticipated, and was tipped to be the match of the tournament, or rather the final before the final, failed to live up to expectations as the first interval of the match saw both teams playing cautiously, in what appeared to be an approach of preferring to keep a clean sheet instead of going to for goal.
However, it was Sundowns who looked to draw first blood as an away goal would have given the Premier Soccer League champions good standing going into the second leg on September 21 at the Loftus Stadium.
The biggest talking, however, was the number of horrible challenges, ranging from boots to the face, to challenges that would have qualified as brilliant moves in the sport of wrestling, which subsequently saw referee Phillip Tinyani dish out a total of six yellow cards, four of those going the way of Sundowns, while Chippa picked up two.
At the start of the second half, Chippa coach Dan Malesela introduced Tshwarelo Bereng in the place of Rulani Manzini. It appeared as though a different message was communicated in the halftime team talk in Chippa’s dressing room, as the Chilli Boys came out guns blazing. Thembinkosi Lorch’s attempt at goal which went wide at goal in the opening minute if the second interval.
For Sundowns, Tau, who came on as a substitute in the quarterfinal against crosstown rivals SuperSport United to be named Man-of-the-match, was the most attacking player but his failure to time his runs saw his effort going to waste as he was caught in offside positions seven times in the first half. The 22-year-old was withdrawn as Mosimane unleashed Yannick Zakri, but the Ivorian did little to tilt the score line to their favor.
In a precautionary move, Captain Hlompho Kekana was withdrew in the 68th minute, as a second yellow card was looming for the 31-year-old – Lucky Mohomi took his place.
The draw saw Mosimane being denied his 200th win in charge of Sundowns.