JOHANNESBURG - Coach Pitso Mosimane couldn’t stand to watch his team’s penalty shoot-out in this Telkom Knockout quarter-final, walking down the tunnel before his Sundowns side converted their spot-kicks against Chippa to progress to the semi-finals of the competition, where they’ll play Golden Arrows.
The Brazilians finished the match 2-2 after extra-time with the Chilli Boys at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium yesterday afternoon.
With Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp in PE to watch Chippa ahead their Premiership clash on Wednesday, the Sundowns coach had another reason to want to progress to the semi-finals of the competition.
The two teams might meet in the final as Chiefs have been drawn to meet Maritzburg United in the last four.
Mosimane has been having a go at Middendorp recently, saying that Amakhosi have been benefiting from some poor officiating in recent matches, hence they are sitting comfortably at the summit of the Premiership standings with 22 points, five ahead of the Brazilians.
Despite the provocation, Middendorp kept his cool, defeating arch rivals Orlando Pirates in their Knockout quarter-final clash 4-2 on penalties after the match had ended 2-2 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
The chances of Mosimane facing Middendorp in the competition took an early blow as the Chilli Boys struck first from a well-taken goal by Augustine Kwem.
Tercious Malepe dispossessed Sibusiso Vilakazi before setting up an unmarked Kwem, who easily slotted past a helpless Denis Onyango.
The Brazilians continued to huff and puff in search of an equaliser, but the South American front trio - Ali Meza, Mauricio Affonso and Gaston Sirino - struggled in front of goal.
In the latter stages of the first stanza, Tebogo Langerman sent in a telling cross which goalkeeper Patrick Tingyemb misjudged, but an unmarked Affonso skied his header into the stands. Sirino nearly brought his team back into the game but he was unfortunate, his shot taking a deflection before coming off the woodwork with Tingyemb flat-footed.
While the Brazilians couldn’t find the back of the net, Norman Mapeza’s men had a direct approach when they were in possession.
Onyango, however, came to his team’s rescue a number of times but it was his one-on-one duel with Lehlogonolo Masalesa that kept the score-line respectable heading into half-time.
The Brazilians grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half, equalising five minutes after the restart.
Substitute Phakamani Mahlambi, who had replaced Meza, made an instant contribution, winning a penalty for his team after he was fouled inside the box by Kelvin Moyo.
Then, having been found by a cracking ball inside Sundowns’ box, Silas Maziya laced home a curler that rolled into the bottom corner of Onyango’s net.
Sundowns responded soon after. Sirino grabbed his brace, and the equaliser, after a blunder by Tingyemb, who put the ball at the feet of the South American.
That score-line ensured that the teams went into extra-time, a period that saw Tercious Malepe getting his marching orders for an altercation with referee Luxolo Badi before the match went to penalties.
Sundowns were the most accurate, converting all four of their kicks, while Chippa could only manage to beat Onyango three times.