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Sundowns March Into MTN8 Final

Mamelodi Sundowns booked their place in the MTN8 final after beating Golden Arrows 3-0 at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium in the second leg of their semi-final on Tuesday evening, handing them a 4-1 aggregate win.

They will play the winner between Swallows and Cape Town City, who play on Wednesday evening, in the final at the end of October.

There was a fast tempo to the start of the game from both sides, but it was Sundowns who found the early breakthrough.

Peter Shalulile put them into the lead in just the 4th minute, following up after Sifiso Mlungwana had initially saved Andile Jali’s effort, but was unable to hold onto it. Shalulile had fed Jali, and followed up to take the ball at Mlungwana’s feet and made no mistake from close range.

Arrows almost hit back immediately, as a minute later Velemseni Ndwandwe shot well from range, but Reyaad Pieterse pulled off a good save to stop the goal bound effort. Thabiso Kutumela went close in the 9th minute, but this time Mlungwana got down well to make the save at the near post.

Over the next fifteen minutes, Sundowns, led by a strong Themba Zwane performance, started to take control, and Lyle Lakay, who was playing in an unfamiliar right position, tried a few shots from range. There were also efforts from Haashim Domingo and Pavel Safranko, who with one attempt in the 26th minute, saw Mlungwana save his goal bound header.

And it was 2-0 in the 29th minute, as Divine Lunga headed in against his former team from a corner.

With the two goal advantage Sundowns began to boss the possession, but the while chances came, they were unable to add to the tally before halftime, though Kutumela came close in stoppage time, but his headed attempt struck the upright.

The second half saw the tempo drop as Sundowns looked to manage the game, though Safranko shot just over in the 50th minute.

Siyabonga Khumalo shot wide in the 65th minute, Nqubeko Dlamini’s effort in the 70th was saved by Pieterse, while Simo Mbhele was off target three minutes later, as Arrows starting pushing numbers forward to try get back into the game.

Thubelihle Magubane’s effort in the 78th minute was on target, but Pieterse made light work of the free kick attempt.

But they ran out of wind, and it was Sundowns who finished on the front foot.

Neo Maema had a chance for Sundowns in the 89th minute, but his glancing header was off target, as was Safranko’s header in stoppage time.

And Maema wrapped things up with an excellent strike from the edge of the area, that left Mlungwana with no chance. 3-0, and Sundowns confirmed their place into the final.

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