PSL News 22.8.2018 09:58 pm

Highlands Park hold Sundowns to a draw

Ricardo Nascimento of Mamelodi Sundowns is challenged by Sabelo Nyembe of Highlands Park  during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Highlands Park  at Loftus Versfeld Stadium / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Ricardo Nascimento of Mamelodi Sundowns is challenged by Sabelo Nyembe of Highlands Park during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Highlands Park at Loftus Versfeld Stadium / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

A resolute Highlands Park held out bravely for a 0-0 draw against Mamelodi Sundowns in a league encounter at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Tshwane team had the better of the chances throughout the night, even after being reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Ricardo Nasciemento in the 50th minute.

But a committed and focused display by the newly-promoted club, saw them hanging on to pick up their third successive draw of the season.

Sundowns had a great chance to take the lead after only a minute played when Jeremy Brockie was played in on goal by Gaston Sirino, but a heavy touch from the latter saw the ball getting away from him, although the New Zealand international did appear to have a decent shout for a penalty after a strong challenge from Highlands Park defender Sello Motsepe.

There was another opportunity for the Brazilians 10 minutes later when Jose Meza got in behind the visitors’ defence, but Junior Sibande did outstandingly to recover as he made a great tackle to stop the Venezuelan getting in a shot.

In what was, for the most part, a tight and physical opening 45 minutes, Brockie was to have a couple of sniffs at goal, but could find no real openings against a solid Highlands Park rearguard.

The complexion of the game was changed four minutes after the restart when Nasciemento somewhat harshly received a yellow card for a foul, only to get himself sent off for showing dissent towards referee Phelelani Ndaba.

The 10-man Masandawana, however, continued to push for a goal and Brockie thought he had put them ahead with 18 minutes to play with a header from a Meza cross, only for Sibande to produce a moment of magic as he went diving across his own line to head the ball clear of goal.

Apart from a shot from Lyle Lakay three minutes before the end of regulation time which was comfortably saved by Tapuwa Kapini, Sundowns were unable to fashion any more clear openings as they settled for a second draw of the season, either side of their 2-0 win over Polokwane City.

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