Cape Town – Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns may have played to a goalless draw at the DHL Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but these two teams once again produced a match of the highest quality.
In the same fashion as their thrilling MTN8 quarter-final a fortnight ago, which finished deadlocked at 1-1 before Sundowns went on to triumph via penalties, these two sides produce arguably the highest standard of football in the country when they meet on the pitch.
This only thing lacking on Saturday was the finishing and City's Fagrie Lakay has a lot to answer for in that regard. Lakaay has plenty of attractive qualities as a footballer with speed to burn and is skilful with the ball at his feet. The Bafana Bafana winger showed off all these elements in abundance on Saturday afternoon, but needs to improve his killer instinct infront of goal.
On two separate occasions Lakay managed to get behind the Sundowns defence in the first half, but was unable to finish off his good work.
The first chance was a prime example when Lakay managed to speed away from the Sundowns' last line and instead of rifling a strike on target, the 24-year-old fluffed the opportunity entirely when his produced a shot-cum-cross that nearly hit the corner flag.
A few moments later Lakay once again found him clear inside the Sundowns box, and although on this occasion his shot was much better, forcing a save from Denis Onyango, but it was still not enough to find the opener for City.
The inability to press home the advantage against a team like Sundowns will always come back to hurt, and it almost did shortly before the halftime break when Haashim Domingo struck a sweet free kick from the edge of the box that forced City keeper Hugo Marques into an acrobatic flying save to keep the teams deadlocked at the interval.
Player of the Match Domingo lost none of the momentum during the break as he struck another stinging shot after the restart which again had Marques scrambling.
But like City showed in the MTN8 final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban a fortnight ago, the Citizens are one of the few teams in the league that has the ability to force Sundowns to retreat.
And they certainly pushed the four-times champions all way to the final whistle in the remainder of the contest with a golden opportunity falling to City's teenage debutant Taahir Goedeman to win the game for the hosts after good link up play with Lakay, but once again Onyango was there to save Sundowns' blushes.
Both teams were ultimately content with a share of the spoils as it was yet another enthralling encounter between two high-quality teams.