Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila held champions Mamelodi Sundowns to a creditable 0-0 draw in a DStv Premiership match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday evening.
TTM put in a solid defensive display and stymied a Brazilians team which looked full of attacking verve this past weekend when they crushed fellow heavyweights Kaizer Chiefs 3-0.
Tshakhuma fired the first salvo as early as the fourth minute, as Justin Shonga combined with Meshack Maphangule before getting away a low shot which was saved by Denis Onyango diving low to his left.
Sundowns almost claimed the lead on 14 minutes, with their pressing high up the pitch paying dividends when Hlompho Kekana intercepted the ball on the edge of the box and beat Washington Arubi with a fierce shot, only for the ball to rattle the crossbar.
That proved to be the best chance for ‘Downs in the first half, with the hosts unable to capitalise on their dominance of possession. TTM did well to close down the space in midfield and cut off the supply to the likes of Peter Shalulile, ensuring a 0-0 score line at the break.
The game remained goalless in the early minutes of the second half and Sundowns looked to shake things up with the introductions of Keletso Makgalwa (who was later subbed off due to injury) and George Maluleka just before the hour mark.
Yet it was TTM who had the next clear chance, with overlapping right-back Diamond Thopola running onto a fine pass into the penalty area before putting a low shot narrowly wide of Onyango’s right-hand post.
The frustration continued for Sundowns, with Tshakhuma’s impressive defensive organisation and discipline keeping the Brazilians at arm’s length. Goalkeeper Arubi had no significant saves to make throughout the second half, with the game ending goalless.
The teams will return to league action next Wednesday, November 4, with Sundowns visiting Cape Town City and Tshakhuma hosting Swallows FC.
Mamelodi Sundowns 0
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila 0
Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Madisha, Nascimento, Lakay (Langerman 69’), Jali, Coetzee, Kekana (Maluleka 58’), Zwane, Mkhulise (Makgalwa 58’ [Maboe 81’]), Shalulile (Mudau 81’)
Tshakhuma: Arubi, Thopola, Ndengane, Nonyane, Mabotja, Lamola, Timm, Maphangule, Ngele, Ngema (Manaka 90+4’), Shonga (Nevhulamba 86’