Downs end Chiefs' MTN8 journey

MTN8

Goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene was the hero as Mamelodi Sundowns progressed the last four of the MTN8 with a penalty shoot-out victory over Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.

Kgaogelo Sekgota, Cole Alexander, Phathutshedzo Nange and Sifiso Hlanti made their debuts for Chiefs, while Mothobi Mvala and Haashim Domingo formed were drafted into the Sundowns midfield.

Downs took the lead with ten minutes gone. Lyle Lakay whipped in a dangerous delivery from the left in between Daniel Cardoso and Sifiso Hlanti for an unmarked Peter Shalulile to head the ball powerfully and low into the back of the net.

Soon afterwards, Lakay did the same thing when offered space on the left-hand side for Shalulile to again be allowed a free header but this time the Namibian frontman headed wide of Itumeleng Khune's left-hand post.

The Brazilians doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Mothobi Mvala threaded the ball through for Themba Zwane, who took one touch before firing the ball clinically into the bottom right-hand corner off the post on its way in.

Soon after, Mvala thundered a long-range effort towards the roof of Khune's net and the Amakhosi captain had to take decisive action and tip the ball over his bar. Lakay then hit the bar himself soon afterwards with a powerful first-time long-range drive after Mvala had laid the ball off to him.

Chiefs pulled a goal back in the 38th minute when Njabulo Blom delivered the ball from the right onto the head of Parker and he finished down and into the bottom left corner.

Amakhosi equalised on the hour mark when Keagan Dolly, who had just come on as a substitute for his debut, played the ball between the lines for Khama Billiat to run onto and fire on the slide first-time into Mweene's right-hand corner.

Soon after, Modiba threaded the ball through for Zwane down the inside right channel but the angle was too tight and Khune came out to smother the danger.

Khune had to be alert once again in the third minute of the first-half of extra-time when Lakay was teed up just outside the left-hand side of the box and he fired a stinging drive on that famed left foot straight at the Amakhosi shot-stopper, who parried the ball away from danger.

Nange was then teed up on the edge of the box in a promising position centre position and curled it towards Mweene's left-hand corner and the veteran shot-stopper dived full-length to make an excellent save.

Safranko, having come on as a substitute with much expectation, missed a gilt-edged opportunity when he headed wide from close range from the centre of the box from fellow replacement Neo Maema's accurate cross.

The sides still could not be separated after extra-time and so the tie went to penalties. Brazilians gloveman Mweene made four brilliant saves in the shootout and netted one himself to put the DStv Premiership champions into the last four at the expense of their Soweto counterparts.

Confirmed line-ups:

Sundowns: Mweene, Mudau, De Reuck, Lebusa, Lakay, Mvala, Coetzee, Domingo, Modiba, Zwane, Shalulile

Subs: Pieterse, Lunga, Morena, Grant Kekana, Maema, Jali, Mkhulise, Safranko, Kutumela.

Chiefs: Khune, Hlanti, Mathoho, Cardoso, Blom, Alexander, Nange, Sekgota, Parker, Billiat, Nurkovic

Subs: Petersen, Frosler, Mabiliso, Njabulo Ngcobo, Akumu, Mshini Ngcobo, Mashiane, Radebe, Dolly

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