by Central News Reporter
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Mamelodi Sundowns were left ruing missed chances after they dropped valuable points in a 1-1 stalemate against a resilient 10-man Orlando Pirates on Saturday, February 17 at Loftus Versfeld.

By PSL | The return of the DStv Premiership after a recess of more than six weeks saw champions and leaders Mamelodi Sundowns held to a 1-1 draw by fellow heavyweights Orlando Pirates, while the clash between Kaizer Chiefs and Royal AM also ended in a stalemate.

The headline match came from Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday night, as 10-man Pirates fought back from a goal down to hold Sundowns 1-1. 

The Brazilians found themselves with an advantage when the Buccaneers’ Miguel Timm was sent off for a second bookable offence nine minutes into the second half, and they then claimed the lead with just under a quarter hour of regulation time to play when Marcelo Allende struck home a fine goal.

However, Pirates earned a penalty just a few minutes later and defender Thapelo Xoki netted from the spot to deny Sundowns a victory for only the third time in 15 league matches this season – though the Tshwane team remains very much in charge of the title race, enjoying a nine-point lead with two games in hand.

Kaizer Chiefs were in action on Sunday afternoon, but their hopes of building on the momentum they enjoyed at the end of 2023 (three wins and a draw to close out the year) were stymied by a goalless stalemate against Royal AM at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

Sunday’s late game and the round closer saw TS Galaxy come from behind to defeat Golden Arrows 3-1 at Mbombela Stadium.

Abafana Bes’thende found themselves in the early ascendancy thanks to a strike from debutant Moyela Libamba, but the Rockets responded to lead 2-1 at the break via Thato Khiba and Lehlohonolo Mojela, with Samir Nurkovic adding a third late on.

The round opened on Friday evening with a 1-1 draw between SuperSport United and Stellenbosch FC – with goals from Bradley Grobler and Iqraam Rayners respectively – while Saturday’s early matches saw Polokwane City edge Moroka Swallows 1-0 in Soweto (thanks to a second-half strike from Simon Ramabu), and Chippa United fought back to hold Cape Town City 1-1 (Elmo Kambindu’s equaliser cancelled out Khanyisa Mayo’s opener).

Saturday’s late afternoon kick-offs featured 3-1 home wins for Sekhukhune United over Richards Bay (Linda Mntambo, Chibuike Ohizu and Thamsanqa Masiya were on the score card for Babino Noko) and Cape Town Spurs over AmaZulu. The latter result (inspired by a brace from Ashley Cupido) brought the Urban Warriors just their second win of the league season.

Attention next turns to the Nedbank Cup, which will see the round of 32 played from Tuesday 20 to Sunday 25 February, before the DStv Premiership resumes with three midweek fixtures on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 February.

IMG 4196
Thapelo Morena of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Monnapule Saleng and Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on 17 February 2024 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DStv Premiership weekend results

Friday 16 February

SuperSport United 1-1 Stellenbosch FC

Saturday 17 February

Moroka Swallows 0-1 Polokwane City

Chippa United 1-1 Cape Town City

Cape Town Spurs 3-1 AmaZulu

Sekhukhune United 3-1 Richards Bay

Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 Orlando Pirates

Sunday 18 February

Royal AM 0-0 Kaizer Chiefs

TS Galaxy 3-1 Golden Arrows

© Backpage TXT

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