Mamelodi Sundowns have clinched a fifth successive league title following a goalless draw with Cape Town City on Wednesday evening.
Sundowns made two changes to the side that drew with Petro de Luanda in the CAF Champions League, as Grant Kekana and Aubrey Modiba were recalled while the Citizens were bolstered by the return of Mpho Makola, Mduduzi Mdantsane and Darwin Gonzalez.
The game got off to a lively start as Neo Maema was denied an early goal for the hosts from a thunderous shot that was punched away by Citizens goalkeeper Hugo Marques.
However, Marques was fortunate not to concede in the first quarter of an hour after Rushine De Reuck guided a header over the crossbar after the Angolan shot-stopper missed the flight of Modiba’s cross in the box.
Eric Tinkler’s charges were more organised after that and gained confidence as they threatened on counter-attacks towards the end of the first stanza but they were unable to trouble Sundowns shot-stopper Denis Onyango.
The Brazilians had a bright start in the second stanza as Maema came close to breaking the deadlock with a strike from the edge of the box that was smothered by Marques.
Sundowns changed their tactics just before the hour-mark, as Divine Lunga replaced Brian Onyango and just after that they brought on the fresh legs of Gaston Sirino in place of Themba Zwane upfront.
The home side continued to press forward for the winner but their momentum was interrupted by the injury of Rushine De Reuck who was stretchered off in the last ten minutes and they took the opportunity to make a triple attacking change that included Thabiso Kutumela, Lesedi Kapinga and Sphelele Mkhulise.
The Brazilians went all out in the dying minutes but they could not take their chances, as City held on for the share of the spoils. The point was enough to hand Sundowns a fifth straight league title.
Here’s how they lined up:
Sundowns: 14. D.Onyango, 4. Kekana, 17. Modiba, 28. De Reuck, 6. B.Onyango, 15. Jali, 33. Maboe, 29. Ralani, 18. Zwane, 35. Maema, 38. Shalulile.
Subs: 1. Mweene, 13. Lunga, 21. Mkhulise, 36. Mkhuma, 24. Mokoena, 32. Kutumela, 9. Safranko, 22. Kapinga, 10. Sirino.
City: 1. Marques, 2. Mkhize, Fielies, 4. Fasika, 14. Mashego, 29. Ambina, 8. Makola, 10. Mdantsane, 30. Martin, 17. Mayo, 9. Gonzalez
Subs: 16. Keet, 22. Fisher, 21. Mokeke, 28. May, 6. Mokhuoane, 15. Cupido, 49. Rhodes, 27. Goedeman, 26, Nodada