Vilakazi rescues late point for Sundowns at AmaZulu

Bonginkosi Ntuli (right) proved a handful for Lebohang Maboe and his parent club Mamelodi Sundowns, during his second debut for AmaZulu who he has joined on loan Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Sibusiso Vilakazi spared the blushes of Mamelodi Sundowns with a late equaliser as the defending Absa Premiership champions played to a thrilling 3-3 draw with AmaZulu at the King Zwelithini Stadium in KwaMashu on Sunday.

Sundowns looked to be headed for defeat when their contracted striker Bonginkosi Ntuli netted in his first game back at AmaZulu on loan, but Vilakazi showed good awareness to poke home the equaliser in a fixture that provided a feast of goals.

There was also a debut goal for Phakamani Mahlambi in Sundowns colours, with his return to the pitch a boost for national team coach Stuart Baxter, especially with the leg fracture suffered by Keagan Dolly for French Ligue 1 side Montpellier on Saturday.

Sundowns also handed a debut to goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse following his move from crosstown rivals SuperSport United, but The Brazilians showed a surprise soft touch in defence.

They were behind inside five minutes when Zimbabwean Butholezwe Ncube robbed the ball from Sundowns midfielder Andile Jali on the edge of the box and produced a fine finish from 22-yards, his first goal for AmaZulu.

The visitors were level just before the half-hour mark however, as Mahlambi showed his quality to pounce on the ball and fire past veteran AmaZulu keeper Moeneeb Josephs.

Jabulani Ncobeni skimmed the crossbar for Usuthu, but Sundowns were ahead when Guinea-Bissau forward Toni Silva showed good skill to beat two defenders and crash the ball home from an angle.

But the lead was short-lived as Ntuli created an opportunity for Ncobeni to score, before putting his side in front when he reacted quickest to a loose ball in the box to poke the ball beyond Pieterse.

Ntuli previously spent four seasons at Sundowns, where he made just two substitute appearances after being loaned out in each campaign.

Sundowns looked devoid of ideas in the closing stages, but a ball in behind the AmaZulu defence created the opportunity for Vilakazi and he snatched a point with a neat finish.

Elsewhere, Bloemfontein Celtic moved to joint-top of the league standings as their unbeaten start to the new campaign continued with a 1-0 away victory at Black Leopards.

Menzi Masuku netted the only goal of the match in the first half as Steve Komphela's side moved to 13 points from a possible 15, behind leaders Bidvest Wits on goal-difference only.

Newly-promoted Highlands Park claimed a first win of the season after four successive draws to start the campaign as they won 2-1 at home to Lamontville Golden Arrows.

Mothobi Mvala netted both goals for the home side, the first from the penalty-spot, while Danny Venter was on the scoresheet for visitors.