Mamelodi Sundowns booked their place in the Nedbank Cup last 16 following a thrilling 3-2 victory over Stellenbosch FC in extra time at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday.
The Brazilians made two changes from their win over Chippa United as Ricardo Goss and Rivaldo Coetzee came into the starting lineup in place of Reyaad Pieterse and Kermit Erasmus.
Sundowns got off to a good start and carved out the first effort on goal seconds into the first half, as Themba Zwane’s attempt with his boot’s outside narrowly missed the upright.
Stellies, though, broke the deadlock after 11 minutes of play when Ashley Du Preez intercepted Rivaldo Coetzee’s pass to calmly slot the ball home.
The visitors’ lead lasted only five minutes as Peter Shalulile beat the keeper to slot the ball into an empty net after receiving a superb cross from Lebohang Maboe.
Sundowns had the chance to take the lead just after the half-hour mark after Zwane teed up Andile Jali, who’s first-time strike sailed just over the crossbar.
Gaston Sirino came close to making it 2-1 in favour of Sundowns in the 34th minute when he tried to outfox Stephens with a curling effort from just outside the box, which went narrowly wide of goal before Siphelele Mkhulise fired his shot from range over the target two minutes later.
Lyle Lakay had a chance to hand his side the lead from a free kick in stoppage time, but a Stephens hand saved it on to the woodwork as the game went into the break level at 1-1.
The home side nearly took the lead a minute into the second half but Sirino’s glancing header sailed just wide of target after an inviting delivery from Maboe.
Maboe continued to threaten down the right after 58 minutes as he found Zwane with an accurate cross, but the Sundowns forward couldn’t quite latch on to the ball.
Sirino beat the offside trap in the 67th minute and got on to the end of a ball from Ricardo Nascimento, but the Uruguayan took a touch before Stephens quickly got off his line to stop him from taking a second.
Stephens came to his side’s rescue in the 72nd minute making a great save from point-blank range to deny Shalulile, before producing a fully stretched save to keep out Sirino’s curling effort two minutes later.
Nathan Sinkala nearly gave his side the lead just before the 80th-minute mark but the Zambian midfielder directed his effort over the target.
At the other end, Sundowns had two chances to put the game to bed but Sirino’s powerful free kick sailed just over the crossbar before Shalulile tried to set up Zwane for a tap-in, but the ball just escaped his reach.
Sundowns opted for fresh legs with four minutes left to play in regulation time as Nascimento and Zwane made way for Lesedi Kapinga and Kermit Erasmus.
The home side managed to take the lead a minute into stoppage time through Sirino, who found the net with a low strike from the edge of the area.
Stellies responded immediately and levelled matters moments later when Phathutshedzo Nange turned home a cross from Junior Mendieta sending the game into extra time.
However, Shalulile fired his side into the next round of the competition following his thunderous strike from the edge of the box late in the second half of extra time as the game ended 3-2 in favour of Sundowns.
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