Kaizer Chiefs the winners as Sundowns and Wits share the spoils

Gift Motupa of Bidvest Wits scores goal with header, challenged by Motjeka Madisha of Sundowns during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 football match between Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns at the Moses Mabhida Stadium (Gavin Barker/BackpagePix)

Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns had to settle for a point apiece on Tuesday evening, with a 1-1 draw far from ideal for either side in the race for the Absa Premiership title

Gaston Sirino gave Sundowns the lead, but Gift Motupa levelled with a header on the stroke of half time, with Kaizer Chiefs probably the happiest team in the land when Victor Gomes blew the final whistle at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Sundowns moved up to second in the table, but are nine points behind Chiefs after 13 matches played, while Wits are a further five points back, though they have three games in hand on Masandawana and Amakhosi.

As early as the third minute, Wits had a chance to take the lead, Thulani Hlatshwayo getting on the end of a low cross, his fine half-volley turned around the post by Dennis Onyango.

It was Sundowns, however, who struck first, courtesy of some magic from Andile Jali, who won the ball off his former Tuks teammate Thabang Monare, brushed past another in Buhle Mkhwanazi, and sent in a fantastic cross that reached Themba Zwane at the back post. Zwane rather scuffed his cross-shot, but it fell for Sirino, who finished from close range.

Wits came closed to levelling within a minute, Elias Pelembe finding Haashim Domingo, but Onyango made a good save diving to his right. In the 22nd minute, a fine ball in from Deon Hotto found Domingo, but this time he volleyed wide.

Wits got lucky in the 33rd minute, as Sphelele Mkhulise sprinted clear onto a wonderful pass from Hlompho Kekana, only for the assistant referee to incorrectly rule the young Sundowns attacking star offside.

Three minutes later, Zwane latched onto Mauricio Affonso’s knock down, but blasted way off target.

Just as Sundowns looked to be heading into the break with a lead, a long ball upfield from Ricardo Goss was superbly controlled by Hotto, and his cross was equally brilliantly headed past Onyango by  Motupa, the Wits striker grabbing his second goal in five days, having also netted against Golden Arrows on Thursday.

Sundowns came out stronger in the second half, and Thapelo Morena ought to have done better when shooting straight at Goss, before Zwane again fired wide after some slick interplay between himself and Mkhulise.

The closest Sundowns came to finding a winner came in the 65th minute, when Motjeka Madisha rose highest to get his head to Sirino’s corner, but the ball came back off the upright.

Wits provided little threat in the second half, though they did force some late corners, and one Hlatshwayo flick looked dangerous, but there was no Clever Boys attacker there to finish it off.

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