Mamelodi Sundowns beat AmaTuks on penalties to advance to Nedbank Cup semi-finals

FILE - Mamelodi Sundowns goolkeeper Ronwen Williams in action. Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP

FILE - Mamelodi Sundowns goolkeeper Ronwen Williams in action. Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP

Published Apr 12, 2024


Mamelodi Sundowns needed a penalty shootout to beat the University of Pretoria after their Nedbank Cup quarter-final ended 1-1 after two hours of football.

Rhulani Mokwena’s men had to do it the hard way, where in the end, penalty specialist Ronwen Williams was the hero once again as he saved two spot kicks during the shootout.

The game, though, wasn’t a classic as Sundowns, in the midst of a fixture congestion, struggled to break down their opponents. But, they were first on the scoreboard.

Sundowns raced to a 1-0 lead as Lucas Ribeiro put Rhulani Mowkena’s men in front after just eight minutes when he fired from outside of the box.

It looked like it was going to be a difficult game for the second-tier University of Pretoria as they struggled to get hold of the ball.

But, after the half-hour mark, AmaTuks pulled level when Delano Abrahams put the ball in the back of the net after a well-worked set-piece.

As the game reached the hour mark in the second half, fatigue began to affect the Tuks players as they continued to struggle against Sundowns’ ability to retain the ball.

But, Tuks were able to hold on for dear life as Sundowns went looking for the winner.

Both sides created chances, but the best fell to Peter Shalulile, who saw his shot blocked with four minutes left to play. Sundowns’ deadly hitman was having an unusually off day in front of goal.

Shalulile had another chance to win it before the 90 was up, but his header from a corner sailed just passed the upright.

Neither side was able to get the job done within 90 minutes, and the game went into extra-time.

The first half of extra-time was a quiet affair, but one player who was having a big impact on the game and exciting the crowd was young Siyabonga Mabena.

His energetic display down the left wing, and against the tired legs of Tuks, nearly provided an opening for his team, but Ribeiro’s strike didn’t get near goal in a crowded area.

With no team able to find a winner, the game headed to penalty shootouts.

During the shootout, Williams, the hero for Bafana Bafana during the Africa Cup of Nations, was at it again when he saved two of Tuks’ penalties as the Brazilians won the shootout 4-3.

IOL Sport