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HomeNedbank CupSundowns Book Nedbank Final Spot!

Sundowns Book Nedbank Final Spot!

Mamelodi Sundowns will meet Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup Final next month after beating Stellenbosch 2-1 at the Danie Craven Stadium in their semi-final on Sunday afternoon.

It was a sold-out affair in a sunny Stellenbosch, and buoyed by the boisterous support, the game started at a swift pace.

There was an early opportunity for Peter Shalulile in the 7th minute, but Oscarine Masuluke did well to gather in front of the Namibian striker.

And the duck was broken in the 11th minute when Khuliso Mudau grabbed the opener, scoring from an acute angle from the right with a well-struck effort.

Stellenbosch tried to hit back immediately, Anicet Oura unable to get power onto his attempt in the 16th minute and Ronwen Williams was able to save comfortably.

There was a long break in play after 25 minutes, with an assistant referee going down with an injury, and he to be replaced. Sundowns also used this opportunity to bring on Thapelo Morena for Divine Lunga, who was losing key battles with Devin Titus.

When play did resume ten minutes later Iqraam Rayners had the ball in the back of the net, but from an off-side position.

It was an extended first half with 13 minutes added to the earlier disruption, and after almost an hour, it was Sundowns who maintained their 1-0 lead at the break.

Stellies almost pounced on a defensive error in the 48th minute, but Rayners was unable to steer his effort on target and it went wide of Williams’ goal.

Bathusi Aubaas tried from range three minutes later at the other end, but his attempt flew over the goal.

While Steve Barker’s team continued to push in the second half, it was Sundowns who went closer to scoring again in the 70th minute, but Masuluke got down well to stop Mudau’s dangerous square ball.

And the lead was doubled in the 74th minute, when Thembinkosi Lorch headed in Shalulile’s excellent cross. 2-0 Sundowns.

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Two minutes later Sundowns were awarded a penalty when Mudau was brought down in the box. However Shalulile’s effort flew over Masuluke’s goal and the stadium erupted in the 81st minute when action flew the other way and Genino Palace pulled one back for Stellenbosch to set up an exciting final ten minutes.

Shalulile struck the woodwork in stoppage time and in the end, Rulani Mokwena’s side managed the final minutes well to book their place in next month’s final at the Mbombela Stadium.

Rob Delport
Rob Delport
Rob Delport is a walking football encyclopedia, having been a mainstay in the Cape Town football scene for years. Rob has previously worked for SABC and various websites and publications across Africa, as well as being the South African Head Researcher for Football Manager and doing a similar role occasionally for EA Sports FIFA. Highly respected, Rob is now a senior iDiski Times website and newspaper writer, and is also responsible for the newspaper's editorial.