Mamelodi Sundowns failed to return to winning ways in the DStv Premiership after playing to a goalless draw against Golden Arrows on Wednesday evening.
The absence of Gaston Sirino and Peter Shalulile opened a return for Sphelele Mkhulise and an appearance for Kermit Erasmus ahead of Gift Motupa up top.
Sundowns battled in the opening exchanges after a teasing delivery from the left-side by Divine Lunga put full-back Mosa Lebusa in a spot of bother at the back-post.
Masandawana began to take control towards the half-hour mark and launched a few openings, but Arrows stayed compact and smothered every entry filtering their way.
Abafana Besthende as such seized momentum back in their favour 20 minutes from halftime and nearly forced Rivaldo Coetzee to an own-goal from a low cross by Pule Mmodi.
Sundowns however could’ve made the opener within five minutes of the break, but Lebohang Maboe volleyed over before Knox Mutizwa scuffed a one-on-one at the other end.
An energetic start to the second half from Masandawana followed, as a shot from Aubrey Modiba worked a save off goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana.
Then, Themba Zwane carved space towards the centre of the six-yard area 12 minutes following the break to put Mlungwana to the test with a smart right-footed attempt from afar.
Arrows refused to back down despite Masandawana’s pressure play and managed to force a few saves off goalkeeper Denis Onyango through Mmodi, Mutizwa and Nkosinathi Sibisi.
Masandawana and Abafana Besthende continued to battle away before fulltime, but the match finished goalless to leave the host on top of the table and Arrows in third spot.
Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Modiba, de Reuck, Lebusa, Maboe, Mkhulise, Coetzee, Jali, Zwane, Erasmus
Subs: Pieterse, Nascimento, Mkhuma, Vilakazi, Lakay, Mudau, Kapinga, Motupa, Mvala
Arrows: Mlungwana, Sibisi, Lunga, Zuke, M.Dube, Parusnath, Ndwandwe, Shitolo, M.Gumede, Mutizwa, Mmodi.
Subs: N.Gumede, Phiri, Conco, Mathiane, L.Dube, Mtshali, Sabelo, Sibiya, Nkombelo