Sundowns crash out in semis
City will face SuperSport in finals following win
Cape Town City will play SuperSport United in the MTN8 final at the end of the month after they beat Mamelodi Sundowns 4-2 on penalties following a bruising semi-final encounter at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday.
It will be a repeat of last season’s final when United beat City 4-2 on penalties in Durban and coach Benni McCarthy will be looking for revenge in what will be his first cup success in his short managerial career.
After two legs‚ Sundowns and City could not be separated as they were tied 1-1 on aggregate but City advanced after they showed nerves of steel to convert four penalties from Nana Akosah-Bempah‚ Teko Modise‚ Matthew Rusike and Taariq Fielies.
For Sundowns‚ Ali Meza and Lebohang Maboe managed to kiss the back of the net but Tony Silva and Anthony were denied by City goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh who impressed during normal time.
City won the first leg 1-0 at home and Sundowns won the second leg by the same scoreline.
During regulation time‚ Sundowns opened the scoring after 26 minutes through Silva, who fired home from close range after he received a cross from the left flank by Meza for his first goal in the colours of the Brazilians.
For the opening goal‚ Themba Zwane started the move from his own half and went on to beat Cape Town City counterpart Modise, before he unleashed a powerful shot that was saved by Leeuwenburgh.
Such was the power in Zwane’s shot from outside the box that Leeuwenburgh only managed to parry the ball on the path of Meza who laid it to Silva to open the scoring and leave the tie 1-1 on aggregate following City’s 1-0 win at home last week.
The goal was the first time Leeuwenburgh was asked to fetch the ball in the back of his net in this tournament as they beat Maritzburg United 1-0 and followed that up with the same score line in the semi final‚ first leg against Sundowns.
For Sundowns‚ it was the first time they scored a goal and won the match since they beat Golden Arrows 2-0 in the first round of this tournament through goals by Sibusiso Vilakazi and Wayne Arendse almost a month ago.
Just after the hour mark‚ City’s midfielder Craig Martin ran almost the length of the field in a solo counter-attack until he arrived in the Sundowns penalty area.
But his left-footed shot was denied by diving Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango who got his fingertips to the ball.
In the 76th minute‚ Zwane was stretched off the field and replaced by Lyle Lakay in what is going to be a concern for Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter as he plans for the Caf Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya in Durban on Saturday.
Sundowns were forced to play the remaining ten minutes with a limping Meza as coach Pitso Mosimane had already made his three substitutions with Anthony Laffor‚ Lebohang Maboe and Lakay on for Sirino‚ Hlompho Kekana and Zwane respectively.
Sundowns: Meza (scored)‚ Silva (saved)‚ Maboe (scored)‚ Laffor (saved).
Cape Town City: Akosah-Bempah (scored)‚ Modise (scored)‚ Rusike (scored)‚ Fielies (scored).