Sundowns book spot in final
Eleazar Rodgers (Backpage)
Polokwane - Mamelodi Sundowns defied the pressure to book their spot in the 2012 Telkom Knockout final after a sole strike by Eleazar Rodgers against SuperSport United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday night.
Both teams came into the game as the two sleeping giants in the Absa Premiership and they were in need of a place in the final to help boost their confidence.
SuperSport created all the early pressure, but it was a great counter-attacking move by Anthony Laffor which saw him assist in breaking the deadlock on the quarter mark.
Laffor supplied the ball into the box, which met Eleazar Rodgers, who controlled and turned on the ball before driving it into the back of the net, 1-0.
The scoreline nearly doubled ten minutes later, when Hlompho Kekana forced Ronwen Williams to make an unforeseen save after he headed the ball back to the keeper only for it to nearly go in at the far post.
The half saw both sides pushing forward, but neither could really create anything significant in front of goal.
Gavin Hunt opted to make a change when he put on Nathan Paulse and Franklin Cale in place of Mor Diouf and Moffat Mdluli at the start of the second half.
Paulse kept Sandilands on his toes when he fired in a low shot towards goal, but the keeper pulled off a diving save, in the 65th minute, to pull the ball away from Sibusiso Zuma’s feet.
Cale tried to turn in a free-kick, with just 15 minutes to go, but after doing well to work the ball through the wall, it was deflected out by Paulse.
The presence of Cale in the SuperSport line-up spurred the squad on as they tried to find a late equalizer, but they were denied it after their penalty appeal was waved away in the 86th minute.
SuperSport United: (0) 0
Mamelodi Sundowns: (1) 1 (Rodgers 15’)
SuperSport: Williams, Kekana, September, Diouf (Paulse 46’), Thwala, Gyimah, Mdluli (Cale 46’), Doutie (Khenyeza 81’), Zuma, Hartog, Nkoana
Sundowns: Sandilands, Daniels, Langerman (Masenamela 74’), Mampuru, Mabaso, Rodgers, Nyandoro (Moriri 75’), Laffor (Mushekwi 86’), Pelembe, Modise, Shongwe