Mamelodi Sundowns secured the treble following their Nedbank Cup triumph over Bloemfontein Celtic at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
Sundowns welcomed back goalkeeper Denis Onyango while Lebohang Maboe was named in the starting lineup, with Ndumiso Mabena Lantshene Phalane and in-form Sifiso Ngobeni in the Celtics squad.
Sundowns found their rhythm in the opening exchanges as Themba Zwane produced the first chance of the match, but saw his effort sail wide off the target.
Celtic had a chance of their own in the 11th minute as Ndumiso Mabena fired his effort from distance but his shot lacked power as Denis Onyango easily collected the through-ball.
Sipho Chaine was called into action in the 26th minute when he made a good save to deny Lebohang Maboe’s snapshot from the edge of the box.
Sundowns had another good chance to take the lead four minutes later when Maboe slid the perfect ball into the box for Zwane, who hit it first time but Chaine was on hand to make a great save to deny the attacker.
Onyango came to his side’s rescue in stoppage time when he did well to tip Letsoalo’s header over the crossbar as the game went into the break locked at 0-0.
The Brazilians nearly opened the scoring early in the second half but Gaston Sirino rattled the woodwork with his strike from close range.
Celtic made their first change of the game in the 60th minute when Teboho Potsane came on to replace Mabena.
Sundowns eventually took the lead in the 79th minute when Sirino unleashed a thunderous strike from distance to find the net.
Mosimane opted to make a double change in the 76th minute when Themba Zwane and Sphelele Mkhulise were replaced by Keletso Makgalwa and Promise Mkhuma, respectively.
Celtic nearly drew the game level with three minutes to play but Onyango produced a superb save to keep out Fikizolo’s strike.
Sundowns then brought on Thapelo Morena in place of Lyle Lakay in stoppage time to see out the game.
The Brazilians managed to hold on to their lead over Celtic until the final whistle to secure the Nedbank Cup title.
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