Sundowns have one foot in the final


Goals from Jorge Acuna and Surprise Moriri handed Downs the advantage, but an away goal from former Brazilian Brent Carelse could prove crucial in the second leg.

The home side also had Bafana Bafana striker Sibusiso Zuma sent-off on the dying seconds for two clumsy yellow card offenses.

Sundowns were forced to start the game without Katlego Mphela, who was injured in the pre-match warm-up. Lerato Chabangu took the former SuperSport man’s place.

They began the match all guns blazing, and created a number of chances for themselves in the first ten minutes, with Moriri, Benedict Vilakazi, Sibusiso Zuma and Chabangu combining well.

Their pressure paid off in the tenth minute, when Chabangu crossed the ball to Jorge Acuna in front of goals. The Chilean shot at SuperSport keeper Denis Onyango, who got a hand to the ball but couldn’t hold it, and fumbled it to the right of goal.

Zuma picked up the loose ball and chipped it over the keeper, straight back to Acuna for a second attempt, who made no mistake in front of a keeperless goal.

In the 25th minute Moriri picked out Chabangu for Sundowns, and the dreadlocked striker’s well-connected attempt went just wide of goal.

SuperSport began taking the game to Sundowns mid-half, and with both teams attacking the game became significantly tighter.

Mbulelo Mabizela had a free header in the 29th minute, from a corner, but his effort went over the posts.

In the 43rd minute SuperSport had their first real chance of the half. Elias Pelembe sped down the right and sent a through ball to Carelse.

Carelse sent in a cross, which Daine Klate ran on to at the far left of the box, but his shot was blocked on the line by Mabizela.

Carelse did make it 1-1 in first half injury time. Klate sent in a free kick from 25 yards out, and the former Sundowns man, although surrounded by the tall trio of Robyn Johannes, Mabizela and Zuma, beat Brian Baloyi with a well-taken header.

Gavin Hunt introduced of Glen Salmon at the beginning of the second half, and SuperSport came back strongly, but it was Downs who went ahead again.

The ball was lobbed into the box in the 58th minute, and while the SuperSport defence crowded around Vilakazi in an attempt to clear, Ricardo Katza’s clearing header fell into the path of an unmarked Moriri, who slammed the ball low and hard to the right of the diving Onyango’s outstretched hand.

Sundowns had a few more chances, but the shots were either skied or wide, and the match quietened down significantly, until Zuma was sent off in injury time, receiving a second yellow for a late tackle on Klate.