Toothless Sundowns held by Highlands Park

Sello Motsepe of Highlands Park challenges Jeremy Brockie of Mamelodi Sundowns

South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns endured a frustrating night after they were held to a 0-0 Absa Premiership draw by newly-promoted Highlands Park at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday.

Sundowns finished the game with 10 men after a red card for Brazilian Ricardo Nascimento and created little in a match of few chances.

Highlands Park had more shots on goal but not a single one on target as they battled hard for what is their third draw of the season after stalemates against Orlando Pirates and Black Leopards.

The closest Sundowns came to a goal was a Wayne Arendse header that was brilliantly cleared off the line by Highlands Park defender Junior Sibande, whose spectacular acrobatic effort was the highlight of the evening.

Nascimento received his red card in the 51st minute for what appeared an innocuous challenge that then drew of volley of complaints at referee Phelelani Ndaba, who produced a second yellow immediately.

Sundowns handed a first start to Venezuelan forward Jose Ali Meza and a debut off the bench to Guinea-Bissau international Toni Silva, but looked largely toothless in the contest.

They had an early chance when Meza fed New Zealand striker Jeremy Brockie in the box but, without a defender in sight, his first touch let him down and the chance was gone.

The only other clear-cut chance in the game for a clearly jaded Sundowns fell to Arendse, but he was denied by Sibande's heroics.

Next up for Pitso Mosimane's men is a difficult away trip to Cape Town City for their MTN8 semifinal, first leg on Saturday.