Mamelodi Sundowns played to a 0-0 draw at home to Golden Arrows on Wednesday evening and saw their lead at the top of the log cut to just one point.
The result at Loftus Versfeld Stadium means Masandawana have now gone three league outings without a win and only hold a one-point lead over in-form AmaZulu, who impressively thrashed Cape Town City and have put together a 15-match unbeaten run in the league.
Downs still have two games in hand over Amazulu, but the Durban side could leapfrog them this weekend if they win their derby match on Saturday against Abafana Bes’thende (who remained third with this stalemate in Tshwane).
The half-time interval arrived with the teams still locked at 0-0 and Abafana Bes’thende having enjoyed the more dangerous moments, while ‘Downs struggled to get the likes of Themba Zwane and Kermit Erasmus on the ball.
Sundowns continued to be stuck in second gear, lacking their usual pace and penetration in attack, though Arrows must be credited for a solid defensive performance in which they never allowed their opponents any time on the ball.
Ultimately the match fizzled out to a goalless stalemate, a fair result for an encounter which was not short of effort or endeavour, but lacked quality in the final third. The teams will return to DStv Premiership action this weekend, with Arrows facing Durban rivals AmaZulu on Saturday 1 May and Sundowns travelling to Orlando Pirates the following day.
Meanwhile Amazulu crushed Cape Town City 5-1 away from home in the pick of Wednesday evening’s matches, with the Durban side extending their unbeaten run to 15 matches and closing to within a point of ‘Downs at the top of the log thanks to goals from Augustine Mulenga, Thapelo Xoki, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Luvoyo Memela and Siyethemba Sithebe.
Elsewhere Chippa United claimed a surprise 1-0 away win over Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, with the result providing a major boost to the Eastern Cape club’s survival hopes in the DStv Premiership.
The three points – secured by a late strike from Bienvenu Eva Nga – did not raise the Chilli Boys out of 15th place (the relegation playoff zone), as Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila won their concurrent game against Bloemfontein Celtic, but does nonetheless bring them closer to the likes of Maritzburg United and Stellenbosch FC a little further up the log.
The teams will return to DStv Premiership action on Saturday 1 May, with Chiefs away to Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa hosting Stellenbosch FC.
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila 1 -0 Bloemfotein Celtics.
TS Galaxy 1 - 0 Baroka FC.