Table-topping Mamelodi Sundowns gave the chasing pack a glimmer of hope following a goalless draw against Golden Arrows in an Absa Premiership clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.
With the second-placed Bidvest Wits winning on Friday, the Brazilians failed to keep their nine point lead intact at the top of the table. The Students have 39 points, now just seven behind the much-fancied Sundowns.
Pitso Mosimane’s Sundowns side dominated the clash on their home turf, and though they created a number of chances on goal they could not find a clinical finish to produce a breakthrough. Instead, Sundowns had to be content with just a point from the match as they edge up to 46 points from 20 matches.
Sundowns made the early running, with Leonardo Castro prominent in his team’s attacks, but both early efforts from the Columbian striker was saved by Arrows goalkeeper Maximilian Mbaeva.
Castro then had another opportunity in the 23rd minute when Teko Modise floated in a cross, but the forward headed wide.
At the other end, Kuda Mahachi whipped in a dangerous ball for Arrows, but goalkeeper Denis Onyango was alert to the danger. Gladwin Shitolo also had an opportunity for the Durban side, but headed wide.
As play swung from end to end, Khama Billiat went close for Sundowns, while Siyabonga Dube steered a shot wide for Arrows. Billiat then crossed into the area, but Castro headed over the bar.
Castro was later substituted with a bruised hip and replaced by Anthony Laffor.
Billiat, Keagan Dolly and Hlompho Kekana, however, continued to press forward for Sundowns in search of a goal, but they found their way blocked by a resolute Arrows defence.
Arrows, in turn, were also threatening on the counter – and, on one such occasion, Rodney Ramagalela had a great chance, but headed over.
Sundowns threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at Arrows – with chances accruing to Kekana, Laffor and Mzikayise Mashaba – but the Durbanites clung on to register a courageous point against the log-leaders.