Striker Peter Shalulile scored a dramatic extra-time winner as defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns left it late to beat Stellenbosch FC 3-2 in a Nedbank Cup thriller at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday.
Stellenbosch took a surprise early lead in the 12th minute when defender Rivaldo Coetzee's attempted pass across the defence was pounced on by the pacey Ashley Du Preez who raced through on goal to score.
Sundowns who were stunned into action responded quickly and pulled level through in-form striker Shalulile in the 16th minute who rounded goalkeeper Sage Stephens before slotting the ball into an empty net.
Winger Lyle Lakay who was proving a threat for the hosts from dead-ball situations forced Stephens into making a fingertip save, with the ball deflecting onto the post in the 48th minute of additional time in the first-half.
The two sides went into the break with the scores deadlocked as the visitors aimed to pull off an unlikely upset against the Nedbank Cup holders.
Sundowns were knocking on the door to take the lead and should have scored when Shalulile scuffed his effort from point blank range into the grateful hands of Stephens in the 72nd minute.
Stephens again denied Sundowns as he produced a magnificent save from Gaston Sirino who attempted to bend his effort inside the far post.
Gaston Sirino seemed to score what looked like a late winner in the 91st minute with a low drive into the bottom corner that just evaded a diving Stephens.
Incredibly Stellenbosch responded to draw level deep into additional time with almost the last kick of the game to send the tie to extra-time.
Sundowns seemed unable to break the deadlock when Shalulile struck the post in the 109th minute of extra time from point-blank range.
Shalulile finally bagged the winner after coming close on several occasions when he unleashed a low shot just inside the far post from the edge of the box with just four minutes remaining to send Sundowns through to the next round.