Mamelodi Sundowns’ Nedbank Cup title defence began against Stellenbosch FC at Loftus Versfeld. The side from the Cape Winelands came into the game having never registered a win against Masandawana. Going into the clash the starting eleven had some changes as Ricardo Goss was between the sticks for the first time since joining, replacing Denis Onyango, also making way into the eleven was Rivaldo Coetzee.
Masandawana showed that they are in the game to win from the first minute as Themba Zwane found himself in a great space and took a shot that missed by inches in the first minute of the game. The visiting side managed to find themselves in the game quickly and Mosa Lebusa was called to rescue as he blocked Ashley Du Preez shot in the ninth minute. It took Stellenbosch twelve minutes to find the back of the net as Du Preez used his pace and put the ball at the back of the net.
Gaston Sirino who scored in the last game against Chippa United over the weekend saw his free-kick saved by goalkeeper Sage Stephens. The Brazilians kept pushing for the equaliser and it duly came in the sixteenth minute via the boot of Peter Shalulile who lobbed the ball over the oncoming keeper and tapped into an empty. Combination play between Themba Zwane and Andile Jali saw the latter skying his shot over the bar. Sirino had an opportunity to extend the lead but the Uruguayan saw his curling effort pass Stephens’ goal. With a few seconds left on the clock before half-time, Lyle Lakay saw his set-piece hit the woodwork after a fine save from the keeper. Both sides went to the break deadlocked at 1-1.
The second half kept the same pace and attitude from the two sides and both were pushing for the second goal to extend the lead. Sirino had the first opportunity as Ricardo Nascimento played a through ball but the diminutive attacker could not get the ball under his control and the keeper was alert to sweep out the danger. Shalulile got inside the thick of things and a great pass from Lakay saw the Namibians’ shot saved by Stephens, who was the busiest keeper out of the two. With the game in the dying minutes, up stepped Sirino and he delivered what seemed to be the winner, his second goal in two games. The visitors managed to grab the equaliser with the last touch of the game as Phathu Nange scored and sent the tie to extra time.
Stellenbosch were the first to cause a threat in extra time as Lelethu Skelem took a shot that was well blocked by Coetzee before his rebounded effort was stopped by Lebusa. Shalulile had another attempt but his shot hit the upright with the keeper well beaten.
With three minutes left on the clock, nothing was going to stop the hard-working Shalulile as he got a pass from Lesedi Kapinga, shrugged off a defender and dispatched the ball hard and low to beat Stephens for the winner in extra time which ultimately saw Mamelodi Sundowns progress to the Last 16 of the Nedbank Cup.
How we lined up: Goss, Maboe, Lebusa, Nascimento (Erasmus ’86), Lakay, Jali, Coetzee, Mkhulise ( Morena ‘108), Zwane ( Kapinga 86), Sirino, Shalulile
Subs: Pieterse, Soumahoro, Morena, Modiba, Kapinga, Domingo, Maluleka,Erasmus, Vilakazi