Mamelodi Sundowns were held to a goalless draw by Baroka FC in an Absa Premiership clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Tuesday evening.
Following a pulsating first-half, neither side really challenged the opposition goalkeeper in the second as the hosts now shift their focus to the CAF Champions League while Bakgaga head back to Limpopo following a historic few days for the club.
The point leaves Sundowns in third on the standings – five points behind the leaders – while Baroka move up to 12th.
The Brazilians were on the front foot from the get-go with Elvis Chipezeze called into action in the third minute to deny Hlompho Kekana. The Brazilians’ skipper lost his marker, but failed to convert with his header attempt from a perfectly weighted free-kick.
Sundowns kept probing and Kekana went close once more in the 28th minute after being teed up by Lebohang Maboe. The midfielder, though, could only succeed in curling his shot wide of goal.
Jeremy Brockie then called Chipezeze into action with a rasping effort from the edge of the area in the 35th minute, but the Bakgaga shot-stopper was up to the task once more.
Baroka almost hit the front against the run of play on the cusp of halftime. Jemondre Dickens carved through the Sundowns defence before attempting a square ball to an unmarked Tebogo Sodi, but Maboe provided a timely interception to deny the visitors what looked to be a sure goal.
Despite all the attacking intent neither side could break the deadlock before the interval, and Bakgaga would’ve been the happier of the two as the teams headed down the tunnel for a breather.
Chipezeze was proving a difficult man to beat once more and pulled off another excellent save five minutes into the second-half. Brockie’s arrowing header looked destined for the back of the net, but the Bakgaga shot-stopper got down well to deny the hosts once more.
Baroka had a late chance to steal all three points in added time, but Mduduzi Mdantsane was desperately unlucky to see his glancing header fly inches wide of goal, as both sides eventually settled for a point apiece.
Sundowns: Mweene; Morena, Arendse, Madisha, Lakay, Kekana, Jali (90+2′), Maboe, Ngoma (Mahlambi 55′), Sirino (Silva 80′), Brockie.
Baroka FC: Chipezeze; Semenya, Sibiya, Banda, Gebhardt, Makgaka (Kgaswane 89′), Mdantsane, Mosele, Chawaphiwa (Kgoetyane 66′), Sodi, Dickens (Makgantai 79′).