Absa Premiership

Sundowns cruise into quarters

2016-04-02 22:34
Cuthbert Malajila (Gallo Images)

Cap Town - Siyethemba Mnguni's goal in the second half was not enough to put Mbombela United through to the last eight of the Nedbank Cup when they lost 3-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night. 

The Brazilians cruised past the National First Division side courtesy of goals from Keagan Dolly, Cuthbert Malajila and Themba Zwane, as they join Bidvest Wits, Polokwane City and Mpumalanga Black Aces in the quarterfinals of the Ke Yona tournament. 

The visitors were the first to attack but the Brazilians responded and man of the match Khama Billiat tried a long range shot, but the Zimbabwean's effort was off target, failing to trouble United's keeper. 

Despite enjoying much ball possession, Pitso Mosimane's men couldn't create clear cut chances until the 24th minute when Zwane combined with Dolly, who shared the ball with Billiat.

In the end, Billiat laid the ball for the unmarked Dolly, who finished with ease in the penalty area to hand the Tshwane side a deserved lead. 

Towards the half-hour mark, Billiat continued tormenting United's left back Zolani Nkombelo, and upon reaching the box he picked out Tebogo Langerman, who missed the target. 

Sundowns continued to pile pressure on their visitors and Billiat broke free close to the d-line, however, his well taken curler went high over Xaba's far corner. 

In the 34th minute, Nkombelo tried to beat goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene from a long range but the Zambian was alert and collected easily. 

It was 1-0 at half time for the Absa Premiership log leaders, and the hosts continued where they left off when a cross down the right from Zwane found Langerman, who wasted a golden opportunity as he ballooned his shot over.

In the 58th minute, Dolly missed their best chance in the second half when he received a great ball from Malajila, but the South African U23 star rushed his shot and missed the target. 

Sundowns made it 2-0 and Zwane was influential once again when he dispossessed United and beat a defender before setting up Malajila for the second goal - the Zimbabwean finished easily in the 68th minute from close range. 

United improved towards the last 10 minutes when Inky Masuku's free header hit the woodwork and went off for a goal kick. 

However, a well worked move by the visitors allowed them to grab a goal when Mnguni scored from a rebound in the box, beating Mweene. 

With 12 minutes remaining, defender Wayne Arendse scored an own goal but there was confusion between the referee and the linesman and the goal was disallowed. 

As the visitors were still celebrating and protesting, Sundowns attacked and Zwane made it three in the 79th minute when he finished a sweet pass from Billiat after turning defence into a counter attack.

In the end, Sundowns held on to their lead and they booked their ticket in the quarterfinals, increasing their chances of defending their trophy.

 

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Highlands Park v Mamelodi Sundowns, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
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