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Football | Absa Premiership

George Lebese © Backpagepix

AmaTuks hold Chiefs to draw



Newcomers University of Pretoria held Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs to a 1-1 draw at FNB Stadium on Saturday night.

Chiefs scored the opening goal in the 55th minute through George Lebese, and looked like they would sail to victory, but AmaTuks came back nine minutes later to grab an equaliser from Mame Niang.

Amakhosi, who regained their log lead over Orlando Pirates, albeit by only one point, enjoyed majority possession in the first period, but struggled to finish.

In the 11th minute, Bernard Parker went on a run into the area before crossing for Lehlohonolo Majoro who headed wide.

Three minutes later, Eric Mathoho found a perfect spot to shoot from inside the box, but his scuffed attempt was closer to the corner flag than the target.

In the opening 15 minutes, Chiefs afforded Tuks plenty of space in the midfield, but the Pretoria side were either closed down quickly on attack or lacking with the final pass, while Chiefs seemed too cautious in front of goal.

In the 27th minute, a curling Siphiwe Tshabalala corner found Parker but his close-range header sailed wide.

Less than a minute later, Lebese went for goal but could not find the target from the edge of the box.

For all their dominance in territory and possession, Chiefs watched as the best chance of the half fell to the visitors in the 38th minute.

Thabo Mosadi had his shot saved by Amakhosi goalminder Itumeleng Khune, with the rebound falling perfectly for Bongani Zungu, who fired the shot into the stands.

Nine minutes after the break, Chiefs were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position a few metres outside the Tuks area. Tshabalala and Parker both deliberated about who would take the shot, and Parker had a go.

Lebese, however, scored the opener, after a quick attack by the home side in the 55th minute. Tshabalala started off the move, combining well with Reneilwe Letsholonyane, who in turn crossed for Lebese, and he found the back of the net with a good finish to give Chiefs the lead.

Against the run of play, Tuks equalised in the 64th minute. Niang found himself on the end of a cross in the box, and with a good turn, he picked his spot in the corner of the net to equalise.

With 20 minutes left, Majoro made a run into the box, and with just Washington Arubi to beat, his powerful shot was directed straight at the Tuks goalkeeper who deflected the effort wide.

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Tshabalala was close to a good individual goal in the 80th minute. The Chiefs playmaker made a bustling run into the Tuks box, leaving a number of defenders back-tracking, but his stinging strike was saved by Arubi.

A minute later Kingston Nkatha pounced on a ball after Arubi blocked a shot, only to see his fierce attempt fly straight at the keeper for another save.

Letsholonyane had the best chance to win the game in injury time. Nkatha received the ball in the box and passed to his teammate, who was unmarked, but Letsholonyane turned and blasted his shot into the crowd.

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