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Galaxy Hold Unbeaten Sundowns In Thrilling Mbombela Stadium Draw

  • May 21, 2024
  • 3 min read
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Galaxy Hold Unbeaten Sundowns In Thrilling Mbombela Stadium Draw

TS Galaxy and Mamelodi Sundowns played out a thrilling 1-1 draw at Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday night, in a match fueled by pre-game tension between the two coaches.

The home side, Galaxy, displayed impressive attacking prowess throughout, particularly on the counter-attack, leaving Sundowns rattled.

Galaxy’s speedy breakaways on the left flank, exploiting the gaps between Mosa Lebusa and Aubrey Modiba, constantly troubled the African giants. While their dominance didn’t translate to goals in the first half, the second half saw Puso Dithejane finally break through with his pace, forcing a save from Ronwen Williams. This goal attempt threatened Sundowns’ remarkable 52-match unbeaten run in the league, stretching back to September 2022.

The encounter wasn’t without controversy. A heated exchange erupted in the 16th minute after Dithejane’s challenge on Marcelo Allende. Both players received yellow cards, adding to the existing tension between the teams’ coaches.

Galaxy continued to pose a threat with their swift counter-attacks, with Dithejane feeding Siphiwe Mahlangu. However, Williams remained vigilant in goal. Soon after, a potential goal for Galaxy in the 24th minute was ruled offside, with Mpho Mvelase adjudged to have been in an offside position after finishing in a rebound saved by Williams.

Sundowns struggled to cope with Galaxy’s high tempo pressing, making it difficult for them to build attacks and penetrate the final third. Despite the intensity, the first half ended goalless, leaving the crowd wanting more.

The second half saw another surging attack from Galaxy. Lindokuhle Mbatha found himself clear on goal in the 75th minute, but Williams produced a magnificent save to deny him. A minute later, Sundowns found themselves under pressure once more, but Thato Khiba, clean on goal when he was served by Mbatha, fluffed his chance and Williams picked up the ball. However, Galaxy’s persistence paid off in the 78th minute as Dithejane capitalized on Sundowns’ failure to clear the lines and slotted the ball past Williams. Coach Sead Ramovic’s jubilant celebration reflected the significance of the goal, which seemed to be ending Sundowns’ unbeaten streak.

Just as Galaxy fans dreamt of an upset, Peter Shalulile rose to the occasion in the 85th minute. He headed home a cross from Aubrey Modiba, restoring parity for Sundowns. The equalizer was met with a burst of relief from coach Rulani Mokwena, preserving their unbeaten run in the league.

With this draw, Sundowns remain undefeated in 53 league matches and 29 this season. If they avoid defeat against Cape Town City on Saturday, they will etch their name in history as the first PSL team to achieve an unbeaten league season.

Picture courtesy of Mamelodi Sundowns

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