Sundowns pull a rabbit out of hat

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

If you don't take your chances, you get punished.

This is the lesson Mamelodi Sundowns learnt the hard way when they drew 2-all with Thanda Royal Zulu in a game of two halves played at King's Park stadium yesterday.

The Brazilians started the match like a house on fire. They literally camped in Royal Zulu's half the entire first 15 minutes of the match and it was not surprising when Josta Dladla put his side ahead in the 11th minute after easily beating Nimrod Tsengwa with a low shot that hit the post before going in.

After the goal it was Sundowns all the way as they kept piling the pressure on and looked likely to double their lead, but complacency was their downfall. They created chances, but could not convert them, especially Lerato Chabangu, Patrick Apataki and Dillon Sheppard, who was eventually substituted.

In the 25th minute, Sundowns goalkeeper Brian Baloyi was finally called into action when he brilliantly denied Bernard Parker an equaliser. Parker had surged past a few defenders before unleashing a powerful shot.

After the break, Royal Zulu came back a complete different team. They played with purpose but found Baloyi in an uncompromising mood. But their never-say-die spirit was finally rewarded when Parker, who was in scintillating form, made a run from deep, beating two Sundowns defenders before crossing to Ryan Botha.

The striker blasted home a contender for the goal of the season in the 73rd minute.

Two minutes later, Katlego Loke put his side ahead with a beautiful goal after a pass from Mnguni, beating the Sundowns off-side trap.

Lady Luck smiled on Sundowns when referee Buyile Gqubule awarded them a soft penalty in the 90th minute and Chabangu made no mistake from the spot.