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Sundowns remain on course of domestic treble after beating Royal AM to reach Nedbank Cup final

Aubrey Modiba of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal during their Nedbank Cup semi-final match against Royal AM at the Chatsworth Stadium in Chatsworth, Durban on Saturday

Aubrey Modiba of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal during their Nedbank Cup semi-final match against Royal AM at the Chatsworth Stadium in Chatsworth, Durban on Saturday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Apr 30, 2022

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Durban — A rare second half mistake from Royal AM goalkeeper Patrick Nyame allowed Sundowns to claim a 2-1 win over the Durban based side in the Nedbank Cup second semi-final at the Chatsworth Stadium on Saturday night.

The result means Sundowns will play Marumo Gallants in the final at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday May 28.

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Sundowns opened the scoring in the 62nd minute as Aubrey Modiba struck a well-worked free-kick which took a deflection off the Royal AM wall. The home team’s goalkeeper Nyame had no chance of saving the ball.

Royal AM were competitive throughout the first half, so much so that Sundowns did not have a single shot on target in that time. It took them just ten minutes to equalize as Thabo Matlaba found the back of the net with a powerfully struck shot that beat Denis Onyango. Uganda international Onyango could have done better as he ended up parrying the ball into his own net.

Just four minutes later, Sundowns capitalised from a rare mistake by Royal AM goalkeeper Nyame as Pavol Safranko slotted the ball home. It was the pouncing awareness of Peter Shalulile that created the goal. Unfortunately for the injury prone Slovakia international Safranko, he could not celebrate his goal in style as he ended up getting injured in the aftermath and was subsequently replaced by Gaston Sirino.

The first half of the game was fairly scrappy as neither team exerted their dominance, so much so that neither team had a shot on target. Andile Jali saved the blushes of team-mate Khuliso Mudau just before the half-hour mark. A mistake from Mudau allowed Royal AM striker Victor Letsoalo to pounce but solid defensive awareness from Jali who may be a contender for the Premiership player of the season, prevented the striker from shooting.

Sundowns had to make an early change in the first half as Brian Onyango picked up an injury. He was replaced by Divine Lunga.

In the end, it was a competitive game with Sundowns winning by virtue of committing less errors and being marginally better in front of goal.

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Sundowns will next be in action on Tuesday as they make a short trip to Ellis Park to play against Sekhukhune United.

Royal AM next travel to the Harry Gwala Stadium to play against Maritzburg United in a Kwa-Zulu Natal on Wednesday night.

@eshlinv

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