Mamelodi Sundowns advanced to the Nedbank Cup last 16 after edging Tshwane rivals SuperSport United 1-0 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday evening, reports DYLAN APPOLIS.
Pitso Mosimane’s men came into this game on a positive note after finishing top of Group C in the Caf Champions League following their 1-0 victory over Wydad Casablanca last weekend.
Kaitano Tembo’s side, meanwhile, arrived after suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat by Golden Arrows in their last match.
When Sundowns and SuperSport last met three weeks ago, Masandawana managed to secure a 2-1 win over their Tshwane rivals in the Absa Premiership.
SuperSport showed their intent early on and nearly took the lead as early as the third minute, but Denis Onyango did well to get down low to deal with Thamsanqa Gabuza’s effort.
It was the home side who managed to break the deadlock after 24 minutes when Sibusiso Vilakazi turned home a cross from Thapelo Morena to make it 1-0.
Mosa Lebusa had a great chance to double Sundowns’ lead seven minutes later, but he failed to direct his attempt on target after Morena played an inviting ball into the box.
Sundowns had another opportunity to extend their lead in the 36th minute when Vilakazi set up Gaston Sirino, but the Uruguayan’s curling effort sailed just over the upright.
Onyango was called into action with five minutes left to play when he did well to keep out Sipho Mbule’s strike from the edge of the box.
However, Sundowns managed to hold on to their one-goal lead over SuperSport courtesy of Vilakazi as the game went into the break.
The home side continued where they left off in the first half and nearly doubled their lead in the 61st minute, but Sirino blazed his effort over the target from close range.
Sundowns were dealt a major blow in the 71st minute when Morena was stretchered off the field with an injury and subsequently replaced by Lebohang Maboe.
Ronwen Williams was called into action a minute later after he made a low save to deny Themba Zwane, who was played in on goal by Andile Jali.
Mosimane made his second substitution of the game after 82 minutes of play when Sirino was taken off and replaced by Lyle Lakay, before making their final change in stoppage time when Wayne Arendse was brought on in place of Zwane.
However, Sundowns held on to their lead over SuperSport until the final whistle to claim bragging rights in the Tshwane derby and advance to the Nedbank Cup last 16.
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