Mamelodi Sundowns claim MultiChoice International Challenge title
Posted: 24 March 2017 Time: 08:09
An excellent goal from Tebogo Reed proved the winner as Mamelodi Sundowns beat Japan's Ichifuna in the final of the Multichoice International Challenge at the Stadion Woudestein.
The Brazilians' reserve side were dominant throughout the one-day four-team tournament played in Rotterdam and had their opponents, in both the semi-final and final, on the back foot for long spells.
The modest scoreline of 2-0 against Excelsior in their semi-final match was hardly reflective of the manner in which they controlled proceedings.
A sublime free-kick from Flavio Bento set the tone for a match in which Sundowns looked silky on attack.
The result never seemed in doubt but Keletso Makgalwa ensured safe passage through to the final when he lifted the ball over the 'keeper for the second.
In the earlier kick off Ichifuna were forced to go to penalties after their encounter with Belgian side KAA Gent ended deadlocked at 0-0.
The technically adept Japanese side buried all five of their spot kicks to advance to the final.
Under floodlights at the compact home stadium of Excelsior the final took place and both sides spent the opening exchanges trying to suss each other out.
It wasn't until the second stanza that Masandawana began to pour on the pressure.
Their Asian opponents eventually succumbed to the onslaught as Reed stole in behind the defence and used his first touch to set himself excellently to finish past the helpless Ichifuna stopper.
That strike was enough to see Sundowns to glory, taking the trophy back to South Africa as they continue to impress on their tour of the Netherlands.