By Siyabonga Mahlaba
Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 2
Torrealba 41, 52
Yebo Yes United (0) 1
This group of teenagers is young and gifted, but inexperienced. However, that notwitstanding, they gave the Brazilians a torrid evening out on the park on Sunday night.
For many of the youngsters from Yebo Yes United, a club from the Vodacom League, this Absa Cup fixture against Mamelodi Sundowns was indeed a dream come true.
For many a teenage player, it's inconceivable that you play against probably the best South African club at the moment on a school night. Sunday night's encounter, however, provided such an unbelievable occurrence for these kids.
While at full time they had narrowly lost to their counterparts from the Castle Premiership, they will have their heads held high for giving such an outstanding performance.
Had it not been for a lack of experience, it could have been Yebo Yes through to the second round instead of Sundowns. On many occasions they had good chances to score, but the youngsters either lacked the finishing expertise or froze when it mattered.
On 38 minutes, Tlou Segolela did well to dribble past Elias Ngwepe down the right wing, but with only 'keeper Brian Baloyi to beat, he shot tamely.
Segolela, by now a thorn in the flesh of Sundowns' defence was located by Thulani Maseko near the 18 yard area, however, instead of shooting, he chose to go around the veteran goal minder in trying to walk the ball into the net.
Amateurish stuff indeed after his teammates had bravely fought to snatch the opener.
However, when Sundowns surged forward, they made it look easy. First it was Godfrey Sapula who drove the ball from long range which required a brilliant save from 'keeper Thulasizwe Khuzwayo.
Patrick Apataki came close to scoring too, but he aimed his header just wide of the mark with Khuzwayo already sprawled on the ground.
José Torrealba, though, showed the difference between the two sides - the experience. When he received a pass from Michael Manzini, the tiny forward simply lobbed the ball over the advancing Khuzwayo for the opener.
Then, later on, he shot low into the bottom corner from 25m out to double the lead.
It was only later that Yebo Yes found the net, with a curler from close from Tsepo Mokone.
Sundowns coach Gordon Igesund gave a number of players such as Neil Winstanley, Ngwepe, Apataki and Fabio Costa a rare start here. However, of the quartet, the highly-talked about Brazilian, Costa, was the most disappointing and the fans' unhappiness over his showing motivated Igesund to withdraw him before the restart.
At the end, some Yebo Yes players took a while to make their way into the dressing- room with the thought of what could have been etched in their minds.
Baloyi; Mere, Manzini, Winstanley, Ntwagae; Dladla, Sapula (Moudouthe 62), Costa (Ndlovu 46), Carelse; Apataki (Ndlela 69), Torrealba
Yebo Yes (4-5-1):
Khuzwayo; Qwabe (Mogakabe 46), Nenne, Tshabalala (Da Costa 77), Mlambo; Lukhele, Maseko, Mkhwanazi L, Mkhwanazi T (Thomas 46), Segolela; Mokone
Yellow card: Ngwepe 13