Downs to face Gallants in NBK Cup final

Nedbank Cup

Mamelodi Sundowns secured their spot in the Nedbank Cup final after defeating Royal AM 2-1 at the Chatsworth Stadium.

Sundowns brought Khuliso Mudau back in the side ahead of Rushine De Reuck and Pavol Safranko ahead of talisman Themba Zwane from the goalless draw against Cape Town City.

The newly-crowned DStv Premiership champions did not have an easy start and struggled to contain the hard-running approach set out by the fearless Royal AM.

All was not lost in that for the all-conquering Masandawana after Neo Maema dragged a clear opening from a square pass way over target moments apart.

It remained tight and an extremely compact encounter inside the latter exchanges of the first spell, but Peter Shalulile had an opportunity to break the deadlock with a snap attempt in the area.

The Brazilians were then required to put on a substitution in the last seven minutes to halftime after an injury on Brian Onyango saw Divine Lunga enter the fray.

Sundowns had a strong opening few minutes in the second period and grabbed the lead when a free-kick from Aubrey Modiba curled beyond the grasp of goalkeeper Hugo Nyame.

The host regrouped and levelled moments later through a solid finish from Thabo Matlaba after the Brazilians failed to monitor their lines.

However, the Brazilians regained the lead with just under 12 minutes to go when miscommunication in the AM defence saw Safranko pounce to finish from close-range.

Royal AM nearly had the leveller within seconds through a thumping free-kick from Mfundo Thikazi, but it was repelled by Onyango.

The Brazilians looked more promising on the ball as well on the break and a well-worked move into the area by Modiba should’ve given them a third, but it wasn’t to be as the match finished 2-1 as they remain on course for the domestic treble.

Confirmed line-ups:

Royal AM: Nyame, Mkhize, Matlaba, Mabuza, Manganyi, Mahlasela, Letsoalo, Rikhotso, Msomi, Macuphu, Mogaila.

Subs: Heugh, Potsane, Monamodi, Thikazi, Ncobeni, Mabena, George, Mashikinya, Phalane.

Sundowns: D. Onyango, Kekana, Modiba, Mudau, B.Onyango, Jali, Maboe, Ralani, Maema, Shalulile, Safranko.

Subs: Mweene, Lakay, Domingo, Mokoena, Kutumela, Lunga, Zwane, Sirino, Mkhulise

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