Despite their taxing schedule, Mamelodi Sundowns have managed to book a place in the Nedbank Cup semifinals.
Although games are coming in thick and fast for the Tshwane giants, they seem to be coping with their busy programme and are not showing any sign of slowing down.
Pitso Mosimane’s side kept their hopes of winning the domestic triple alive by beating Highlands Park 1-0 in their Ke Yona quarterfinal at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday night.
Substitute Keletso Makgalwa scored a goal worthy of winning any match with five minutes remaining in extra time to squash the home side’s hopes. With the Telkom Knockout already in the bag, Sundowns are competing on two fronts – in the Absa Premiership and the Ke Yona Cup.
In October, Mauricio Affonso scored a late dramatic winner in the league to break Highlands Park’s hearts.
This time, a late winner from Makgalwa broke Highlands’ hearts again.
Bidvest Wits and Baroka also sealed their passage to the semis, and the winner between Bloemfontein Celtic and TS Sporting today will complete the line-up of the last four.
There was no place to spit in the stadium as thousands of fans packed the compact venue, creating an electric atmosphere. The cold weather did not deter the fans and they came out in their numbers to Ekurhuleni’s famous stadium.
The two teams will still do battle in the league at the same venue on Saturday.
To get to this stage of the competition, Highlands held their nerve to eliminate last year’s finalist Kaizer Chiefs 5-4 on penalties after their quarterfinal encounter ended in a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes at the same venue.
Downs negotiated their way into the last eight courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Safa lower-division team Vaal University of Technology in Tshwane.
The Brazilians created better goal-scoring opportunities in a tightly contested first half. Lyle Lakay’s well taken free-kick beat veteran goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini – but not the post – in the highlight of the opening half. The Brazilians had two more shots saved by the Zimbabwean stopper.
Namibian goal poacher Peter Shalulile came close to getting the ball into the back of the net for the home side, but was denied by Ugandan keeper Denis Onyango in the Brazilian goal in the first 45 minutes.
Keletso Makgalwa ’115