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Brazilians share spoils with Dube Birds 29/08/04
Sundowns and Moroka Swallows played out to a highly enterrtaining 1-1 draw in a Castle Premiership match played at a packed H.M. Pitje Stadium in Mamelodi on Sunday afternoon.

Swallows certainly had the beter of the first half and were full value for their 1-0 lead. Sundowns came back strongly in the second stanza, although the Birds, despite being reduced to 10 men, had their fair share of chances to grab a win.

There was no chances on goal in the opening 10 minutes as the two on-form teams went about feeling each other out.

However, in the 11th minute, the Birds shocked the home crowd when Lungisani Ndlela picked out Edzai Kasinauyo on the left and the Zimbabwean winger drove into the box before unleashing a powerful shot past Brian Baloyi at the near post to give the visitors the lead.

Although chances on goal were few and far between, the game was played at a cracking pace and there was plenty of skill from both teams to entertain the capacity crowd.

In the 32nd minute former Birds winger Lucas Sebona cut inside the box and just failed to pick out veteran striker Daniel Madau who was bearing down on goal.

Five minutes later Ndlela came close to increasing Swallows' lead when he rose to meet Alfred Phiri's free kick, but his header was deflected for a corner by the home defence.

Just after that Cecil Oerson wasted a glorious chance to double the lead when he arrived in the box to meet Ivan Winstanley's square ball, but the former Bloemfontein Celtic star shot wide from only eight yards out.

In the 41st minute Downs had a chance of their own when some neat work culminated in Madau picking out Peter Ndlovu at the far post, but the Zimbabwean striker's header flew straight at keeper Conrad Hendricks.

Just on the stroke of half time Ndlela dispossessed Raymond Seneo and then brought out the best in Baloyi with a low shot.

In the 50th minute Swallows were reduced to 10 men when Rufus Mokoti dismissed after being given a second yellow card following a late challenge on Sebona.

Sundowns took advantage of their numerical advantage and started to dominate the game. In the 60th minute a prolonged spell of pressure from the hosts finally saw Clement Mazibuko try his luck from the edge of the box, but the dreadlocked player's shot went just wide of the target.

The pressure finally paid off in the 64th minute when Siake Tiene's free kick rebounded off the post and Ndlovu was on hand to steer the ball home from close range.

Straight from the re-start Baloyi pulled off a brilliant diving save to deny what would have been a cracking goal from range by Kasinauyo.

The Birds continued to fight and in the 75th minute Gary McNab was desperately unlucky to see his scorching free kick glance the upright with Baloyi well beaten.

Baloyi again came to the rescue of the Brazilians in the 78th minute when Ndlela turned Craig Bianchi and fired goal wards, only to see the Downs keeper make a great reflex save.

The closing minutes of the game were action packed as both teams enjoyed numerous attempts at goal.

There was drama deep into injury time as Baloyi was forced to leave the field with a bloodied nose and Essom Nyundoro had to don the goal keeper's shirt as Paul Dolezaar had already used all three of his substitutions.

The make-shift goal keeper was immediately called into action to prevent Bianchi's header from going into his own net.

With the game eight minutes into injury time, Ndlela had a last gasp chance to snatch victory, but his shot flew high over the bar.

The full time whistle blew shortly afterwards, marking the end of a highly entertaining match.

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