SuperSport pip Downs to MTN8 final

SuperSport United advanced to the MTN8 final for the third successive season after defeating Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.

Masandawana boss Pitso Mosimane made three changes from their stalemate in the first-leg, with Jose Ali Meza getting his first start of the campaign, alongside the returning Thapelo Morena and Rivaldo Coetzee. Meanwhile, United made only one change from their six-goal thriller with Cape Town City, as Teboho Mokoena replaced Jamie Webber in the line-up.

After a frantic start from both sides, Matsatsantsa grabbed the lead in the 12th minute courtesy of Mokoena, who let fly with a powerful low shot past goalkeeper Denis Onyango, after being teed up by Thamsanqa Gabuza to put his side ahead on the night and the tie.

The Brazilians were struggling to break down the United's deep defensive block after that, but Hlompho Kekana nearly levelled matters for Mosimane's charges in the 25th minute with a dipping strike from outside the box that was brilliantly parried away by shot-stopper Ronwen Williams.

Sundowns were probing for the equaliser in the closing stages of the first stanza and Kekana had their best chance again with an effort range five minutes before the break, but his effort sailed just wide as frustration began to grow for the hosts.

Both sides had chances to find the back of the net in the opening exchanges of the second stanza but they were not clinical enough, most notably Sipho Mbule who fired over the crossbar with the net gaping after 54 minutes.

Kaitano Tembo needed fresh legs on the hour-mark, as Kudakwashe Mahachi came on for Aubrey Modiba, while Mosimane needed a fresh approach in the last third moments later, as he brought on Sibusiso Vilakazi in place of Meza.

Matsatsantsa were sitting deep with 20 minutes remaining and Tembo made his intentions clear about defending their lead, as he brought on utility player Ghampani Lungu in place of forward Bradley Grobler.

Sundowns were not finding joy going forward and were leaving spaces behind while searching for the elusive equaliser and they were punished with five minutes remaining, as Webber went clear on the right side of the box and fired a low shot past Onyango to ultimately give United a 2-0 victory and 3-1 win on aggregate to go through to the final.

Teams:

Sundowns: Onyango, Ngcongca, Arendse, Lebusa, Langerman, Coetzee, Kekana, Zwane,  Sirino, Morena, Meza.

Subs: Pieterse, Mabunda, Lakay, Mkhulise, Vilakazi, Madisha, Maboe.

SuperSport: Williams, Nhlapo, Khumalo, Daniels, Bhasera, Furman, Mokoena, Mbule, Modiba, Gabuza, Grobler

Subs: Pule, Fleurs, Webber, Mnyamane, Qalinge, Mahachi, Lungu.

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