Chippa United 1-1 Mamelodi Sundowns: Arendse goes from hero to zero as Downs remain fifth

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane made wholesale changes to the side that hammered Orlando Pirates 6-0 last weekend, but his team was still able to earn a point away from home. 

The Kagiso-born mentor rested the likes of Hlompho Kekana, Denis Onyango, Khama Billiat and Percy Tau among others, and handed Teko Modise a rare start in the middle of the park.

However, despite the changes, Mosimane used the same system with Yannick Zakri playing out wide and Themba Zwane deployed just behind lone striker Leonardo Castro.

The Brazilians needed nothing less than three points to cut Cape Town City’s lead to just three at the top, but they would be happy with the point given how tough Chippa United were on the day.

They remain fifth on the PSL log, behind both SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits, who are both in action on Wednesday night.

Returning to the team after missing the previous match through suspension, Arendse showed hunger and determination from the first whistle, and it was his superb finish that gave Sundowns the lead in the 19th minute.

The centre-back, who was handed the captain’s armband in the absence of Kekana, found himself unmarked inside the box following a decent free-kick by Modise, and after a world class first touch, the defender fired past Daniel Akpeyi to make it 1-0.

Arendse went from hero to zero when he fouled Buyani Sali inside the penalty area less than 10 minutes later as the Chilli Boys threw everything at Sundowns.

Rhulani Manzini stepped up and sent Sandilands the wrong way with a powerful shot from 12-yards out 37 minutes into the first half.

The slippery pitch in the Eastern Cape made it impossible for both teams to play their usual free-flowing football, and for that reason, neither side could create any clear-cut goalscoring opportunities in the remaining minutes of the first half.

The visitors came out guns blazing at the start of the second half, and created numerous goalscoring chances, but they were let down by poor decision making in the final third.

The first chance of the second 45 minutes fell to Modise, who received a sublime ball from Fares Hachi in the 49th minute, but the midfield maestro ballooned his effort.

Chippa United created chances of their own, but Sundowns always looked the better side on the ball.

As the game progressed, Mosimane realized that his team was struggling to get behind the Chippa defense, and he quickly made changes – introducing Thapelo Morena to play as a wing-back.

The speedy player was often exposed as he didn’t have anyone to cover him defensively, and Chippa, despite being presented with numerous opportunities to take the lead squandered the majority of those that came their way.

The only time they came close to taking the lead was when substitute Shiba forced Sandilands into a diving save in the closing stages of the game.

Both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils at the end of the 90 minutes. Chippa moved up to eighth on the PSL log. 

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