Uganda goalkeeper Watenga stars as Arrows hold Sundowns

Uganda goalkeeper Ismail Watenga starred for mid-table Golden Arrows in a 0-0 South African Premiership draw with 10-man champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday.Sundowns, who clinched a seventh straight title last week with six matches to spare, were repeatedly defied by a shot-stopper playing his first match since being injured last November.

“We showed commitment and focus. Depriving Sundowns of space was critical to our plan and we succeeded,” said Watenga after the match near Durban.

Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena also hailed Watenga, who competes with another South Africa-based goalkeeper, Salim Magoola of Richards Bay, to be the first choice for Uganda.

“The fact that Ismail was voted man of the match says a lot. We could have been five goals ahead by half-time had it not been for him.

“Even when a man down we created more chances, but every team raises their game when they face Sundowns,” said Mokwena.

The champions were reduced to 10 men two minutes into the second half when Mosa Lebusa committed a last-defender foul on Lungelo Nguse.

Livewire Nguse was a constant threat to Sundowns when Arrows counterattacked while Rivaldo Coetzee made several superb tackles for the table-toppers.

Having clinched the title, Sundowns want to become the first club since the Premiership was launched in 1996 to complete a season without losing, and have five matches to play.

The Pretoria outfit are also eyeing a record points total for a 30-match season. They have 65 points and need seven more from a possible 15 to achieve that feat.

Stellenbosch were held 0-0 at home by lowly AmaZulu and had their lead over Orlando Pirates reduced to one point in the race for second place and a CAF Champions League spot.

Pirates beat Chippa United 2-0 in Soweto with two goals from leading league scorer Tshegofatso Mabasa.


© Agence France-Presse

Photo; twitter @YELL0MAN

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Dylan Johnson