Downs into Nedbank Cup semis after Williams heroics

By Michael Madyira

Mamelodi Sundowns put up yet another underwhelming performance but squeezed into the Nedbank Cup semi-finals following a 4-3 penalty shootout victory over University of Pretoria on Friday.

For a second match running, it took the lottery kicks for the Brazilians to sink their opponents and this time around it was after a 1-1 draw with Tuks.

Lucas Costa Ribeiro has thrust Sundowns ahead after just eight minutes but Pretoria University gave themselves a chance with Delano Abrahams’ equaliser.

It was a difficult evening for the Brazilians who starred in elimination and had to thank goalkeeper Ronwen Williams for saving two penalties.

Former Sundowns players Samuel Jules and Harold Majadibodu started to face their former paymaster.

Masandawana coach Rhgulani Mokwena opted for what looked like a full-strength squad although the likes of Divine Lunga, Siphelele Mklhulise, Mosa Lubusa and Bongani Zungu were unavailable.

It was a promising start to the contest for Sundowns when they took the lead through Ribeiro whose curler from distance beat Tuks goalkeeper Edward Maova.

The Brazilians looked like they were going on a goal rampage but Pretoria University gathered themselves for some bitter resistance.

It did not take too long for Tuks to hit back when Abrahams beat Ronwen Williams after being set up by Julies.

Maova then started frustrating Masandawana by brilliantly denying Teboho Mokoena and Neo Maema.

Sundowns were struggling to breach Tuks and with 11 minutes to go, Abraham drew the best out of Williams with a powerful shot.

Substitute Peter Shalulile then had a headed effort go just wide right on 90 minutes and Mokoena also saw his powerful shot from the edge of the penalty box narrowly go off target.

Maova was back again to top over the bar with a Bathusi Aubaas shot while Thembinkosi Lorch came close with a grounder before the match spilled into extra time and eventually penalties.

Pictured above: Mamelodi Sundowns defender Grant Kekana against a University of Pretoria defender.

Image source: PSL

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