Sundowns down Arrows to reach TKO final
DURBAN – Ten-man Mamelodi Sundowns overcame a spirited Golden Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont on Saturday to book their place in the final of the Telkom Knockout.
Te result means Steve Komphela will have to wait for another year to have an opportunity of landing his maiden TKO title, while Pitso Mosimane is on the verge of adding yet another piece of silverware in his trophy laden spell with the Brazilians.
The final will be contested on December 14 at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium, and Sundowns will face the winner of Sunday's other semi-final between Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United.
Komphela is yet to lift a trophy in his career at club level as a coach. He has taken his teams to three cup finals without any luck while Mosimane is in line to add to his countless titles won.
Sundowns have already missed out on the MTN8 this season. Getting in to the final will give them more confidence especially after not winning in the last three matches.
The referee brings an end to the action as Sundowns resist a strong second half fight back from Arrows to book their place in the Telkom Knockout Final!🏆— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) November 23, 2019
FT: Golden Arrows (81' Sibiya) 1️⃣➖2️⃣ Mamelodi Sundowns (10' Kekana, 36' Sirino) #Sundowns #DownsLive #TKO2019 pic.twitter.com/YC7lvg3yW7
Sundowns were cruising in the first half as they went in to the interval 2-0 up. Hlompo Kekana made his presence felt. He netted the opener as early as 11 minutes. Arrows failed to clear their lines in a standard situations and Kekana rose the highest to put his side in the lead. Gaston Sirino was the provider.
The Uruguayan turn from provider in to a goalscorer from another standard situation. Abafana Bes'thende were caught in sixes and sevens at the back and paid the price for their poor organisation.
Both Kekana and Sirino were rested against Arrows when these two sides met two weeks ago at the same venue. It was clearly that their presence was missed as the Brazilians succumbed in to a 3-2 defeat in the league. Their come back was evident for everyone to witness. They made huge difference for the Brazilians.
Kekana, Andile Jali and Sirino controlled the midfield for Sundowns. They dictated the pace of the game.
Abafana Bes'thende played in dribs and drabs. Nduduzo Sibiya pulled one back for Abafana Bes'thende nine minutes before the final whistle. It gave Arrows hope. They piled more and more pressure in to the territory of Sundowns but it wasn't to be for the home side.
It was another semi final defeat for Arrows who couldn't sweep past TS Galaxy in the Nedbank Cup at the same stage of the competition.
Komphela and Arrows have to wait for more years to end their trophy drought. Abafana Bes'thende haven't tasted success in a decade. Sundowns will be hoping to replicate their form of 2015 when they were crowned the champions at Moses Mabhida. Ironically the final will also take place at the same venue.
Sundowns finished the match with 10 men after Sirino was sent off with five minutes before the end of the game. Sirino made reckless tackle on Dube and was given his marching orders. But what matters the most for Sundowns more than anything is that they are in a final. For Arrows, it a missed opportunity with the final set to be contested at Moses Mabhida Stadium.