Gift Motupa of Bidvest Wits tackled by Themba Zwane of Sundowns during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 football match between Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 23 February 2019 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Saturday Feb 23, 2019. 20:07
Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns drew 1-1 in an Absa Premiership match at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday evening.
As a result, the Clever Boys remain at the top of the league table, while Sundowns also remained second on the log.
The Brazilians got off to the perfect start as they broke the deadlock just seven minutes into the match through Phakamani Mahlambi.
The former Wits forward fired home from close range to make it 1-0 to Sundowns after the hosts had failed to clear their lines.
Wits then pressed Sundowns and they came close to scoring when Gift Motupa's header hit the upright in the 12th minute.
However, Motupa did level matters on the half-hour mark following a mistake by the Brazilians' defence.
The former Orlando Pirates striker pounced and beat Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango to make it 1-1 for Wits.
Sundowns were reduced to 10 men in the 37th minute when Wayne Arendse was sent off for denying Fagrie Lakay a goal-scoring opportunity.
However, Sundowns were able to contain Wits until the match referee blew the half-time whistle and the score was 1-1 at the interval.
The Clever Boys did most of the attacking after the restart with coach Gavin Hunt having introduced Elias Pelembe.
However, the Sundowns defence which was marshalled by Ricardo Nascimento looked solid and impenetrable.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane introduced defender Rivaldo Coetzee in the 69th minute as the visitors looked to contain Wits.
Wits launched late attacks, but they could not beat second-half substitute Reyaad Pietersee, who had replaced goalkeeper Onyango.
The defending champions stood firm at the back in the dying minutes of the match and ultimately, Wits and Sundowns drew 1-1 on the night.
Wits (1) 1 (Motupa 30')
Sundowns (1) 1 (Mahlambi 7')
Wits: Keet, Mere, Hlatshwayo, Johannes, Hlanti, Alexander, Scott, Hotto (Mhango 64'), Ritchie (Pelembe 46'), Motupa, Lakay (Murray 80').
Sundowns: Onyango (Pietersee 76'), Lebusa, Nascimento, Arendse, Ngcongca, Mabunda, Kekana, Zwane (Jali 90'), Maboe, Lakay, Mahlambi (Coetzee 69').