Mamelodi Sundowns maintained their unbeaten record in the CAF Champions League after playing to a goalless draw with Al Hilal Omdurman on Friday evening.
With a spot in the quarter-finals already confirmed, Sundowns made wholesale changes, with only Mosa Lebusa, Rushine De Reuck, Gaston Sirino and Sphelele Mkhulise retaining the spots in the line-up.
The Brazilians had a scare as early as the second minute after Nasr Omar found space inside the box to pull the trigger but his low strike was saved by goalkeeper Ricardo Goss.
The visitors came close to getting the opener two minutes later after Gaston Sirino received an off-load from Mauricio Affonso inside the box but his shot across the goals missed the far bottom corner by a whisker.
Sundowns almost broke the deadlock in the 25th minute from a corner as De Reuck’s header inside the box was headed off the line, with shot-stopper Ali Achrine out of his area.
The Brazilians continued to sit deep and they nearly paid for it towards the end of the first stanza as Abu Aagla rattled the post in the 33rd minute with a fierce strike inside the box before Mohamed Abdel Rahman also came close for the hosts five minutes before the break with a strike across the face of goal that beat Goss but missed the upright by inches.
The Blue Wave put Sundowns under a lot of pressure after the break as Faris Abdalla came close to breaking the deadlock seven minutes inside the second stanza with a sweet left-footed strike that was saved by Goss.
Sundowns were defending deep in their own half, with Al-Hilal having the momentum but the Sudanese side was struggling fashion clear cut chances.
Hlompho Kekana came close to breaking the deadlock for the visitors in the last nine minutes with a long strike that caught Achrine out of his area but unfortunately for Sundowns hit on top of the crossbar.
Al-Hilal had a free-kick just outside the box in stoppage time but Abdel Rahman curled his strike just over the top corner as the sides settled for a share of the spoils, with Sundowns, already qualified remaining unbeaten at the top of the group with 13 points while Al-Hilal remained second with four points.
In Other News – Traffic officials monitoring roads as traffic picks across holiday routes
Law officials said there had been a significant increase of vehicles on the country’s major routes as holidaymakers took advantage of the Easter long weekend.
Traffic officials staged massive operations in a bid to curb the carnage on the roads.
Gauteng Traffic Police’s Obed Sibasa said some freeways were extremely busy this afternoon. learn more