Mamelodi Sundowns Mbombela United Nedbank Cup report
Posted: 2 April 2016 Time: 19:19
Mamelodi Sundowns beat Mbombela United 3-1 in controversial circumstances in their Nedbank Cup last 16 clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night.
Sundowns were by far the better team on the night and totally dominated, but the NFD team were also rather unlucky the way the contest was eventually settled.
Keagan Dolly gave Sundowns the lead in the 25th minute after playing a one-two with Khama Billiat in the box, a beautiful and simple move.
Substitute Cuthbert Malajila made it 2-0 in the 69th minute, slotting into the bottom-left corner after brilliant set-up play from Themba Zwane dribbling through the middle.
Mbombela United started playing more positively towards the end of the second half and it paid off in the 76th minute when Sifiso Thomo did excellently on the edge of the area and drove into the box before his parried shot fell to Sinethemba Mnguni to finish on the rebound.
The visitors then thought they had levelled at 2-2 when Wayne Arendse turned a cross into his own net, and they ran off to celebrate. However, there was a late offside flag from the linesman and while Mbombela were celebrating, Sundowns hit them with a sucker-punch on the counter-attack.
The Brazilians couldn't believe their luck as they found themselves four-versus-one on the break – all while several Mbombela players were out of position, off the pitch, still thinking they had scored – and Zwane made it 3-1 with a composed finish from Billiat's pass.
Replays showed it was a good offside call for the own-goal as there was a striker involved in play behind Arendse, but the referee's decision to allow Sundowns to take the free-kick quickly while Mbombela were celebrating was certainly controversial, although they were also guilty of not playing to the whistle.
Sundowns: Mweene, Mphahlele (Mbekile 64'), Arendse, Nthethe, Langerman, Soumahoro, Mabunda (Malajila 46'), Mashaba, T Zwane, Dolly, Billiat (Mokoena 90+2')
Mbombela: Xaba, Maphosa, Mphahleni, Mayongo, Shongwe, Mnguni, Gumede, Sekome (Mandlazi 72'), Nkombelo (Thomo 42'), Mabuza, Masuku (Ndhlovu 90+2')