Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
2 minute read
5 Dec 2021
8:34 am

Stellenbosch hold Sundowns to a draw

Ntokozo Gumede

This was Sundowns' fourth draw of the season.

(Left to right) Mamelodi Sundowns cp-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi, Rulani Mokwena and senior coach Steve Komphel (Pic: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix)

It is not often that Mamelodi Sundowns go into the halt-time break trailing, which meant the trio of coaches, Manqoba Mngqithi, Rhulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela had to have a different kind of pep-talk in the dressing room.

Masandawana were condemned to their fourth draw of the DStv Premiership this season as the tie ended 1-1 at the Danie Craven Stadium.

Downs were set on the back-foot just a few minutes before the interval when referee Philangenkosi Khumalo awarded a penalty to the hosts. Khuliso Mudau was the culprit as he could not keep up with the pace of Ashley Du Preez, who took him on a couple of times down the left flank. In the 42nd minute, Mudau brought down the pacey attacker in the box, leaving Khumalo with no choice but to point to the spot.

It was Man-of-the-Match Junior Mendieta who took the responsibility from 12 yards, netting past veteran goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene to score his second goal of the season. However, Masandawana came back with more determination as they made the hosts chase shadows in the opening stages of the second stanza, and eventually, their high-pressing game paid off.

Lyle Lakay came to the rescue of the defending champions in the 59th minute when he beat Sage Stephens from range, scoring for the first time in the league this season. Sundowns wanted more goals as they made changes to their attack, bringing on Kermit Erasmus, Aubrey Modiba to try and tilt the result into their favour.

Erasmus saw most of the opportunities fall his path but he could not make the most of them. The former Orlando Pirates striker came close to finding the back of the net in the 84th minute when he swung in a free-kick, which ended up being a shot that had Stephens worried as it shaved the top of the cross-bar.  

Downs continued to launch waves of attacks in the dying stages of the game but Stellies’ defence remained resolute to make sure that the Brazilians return to the capital city with just a single point. However, Sundowns still command a comfortable lead at the summit with nine points clear of second-placed Royal AM.