Mamelodi Sundowns extended their unbeaten start to the season with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 semifinal second leg. The match, held at a sold-out Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday, saw Sundowns win 3-2 on aggregate, securing their place in the final.
The first leg had ended in a 1-1 draw at FNB Stadium, setting the stage for an intense rematch. The excitement kicked off just ten seconds into the game when the dynamic Peter Shalulile scored right after the kickoff, capitalizing on impressive pressing against Chiefs goalkeeper, Brandon Peterson.
This goal set a record as the fastest strike in the history of the Wafa Wafa competition and maintained Bafana Ba Style’s remarkable record of scoring in every game this season.
The Soweto-based side soon found their rhythm and were awarded a penalty in the 32nd minute when Sipho Mbule was deemed to have handled the ball in the box. Ashley Du Preez successfully converted the spot-kick, leveling the scoreline.
The Brazilians continued to press for a second goal and were rewarded just before half-time with a header from Shalulile, courtesy of excellent work from Lucas Ribeiro Costa, who continues to excel in Ka Bo Yellow colors. Consequently, both teams headed into the break with the Chloorkop-based side leading by one goal.
In the second half, the four-time MTN8 winners continued their dominance, with Shalulile coming close to completing a hat-trick in the 51st minute after some good work from Themba Zwane.
The technical team then brought on Thapelo Maseko to replace Sipho Mbule in the 54th minute. Unfortunately, the new entrant picked up a yellow card just two minutes after coming on for pulling an opponent. Despite their efforts, the hosts were repeatedly thwarted by Ronwen Williams in their quest for another equalizer.
As time ran out, Abdelmounaim Boutouil and Lesiba Nku made way for Brian Onyango and Terrence Mashego as Coach Rulani Mokwena freshened things up.
Despite some late pressure from AmaKhosi, Masandawana had done enough to secure a memorable victory thanks to Shalulile’s brace and the Namibian scoring assassin was deservedly awarded the Player of the Match. This victory marked back-to-back wins for Sundowns against both Chiefs and Pirates within just three days.
In the other semi-final, Orlando Pirates secured their spot in the final for the second consecutive year, advancing on the away goals rule. They lost 1-0 to Stellenbosch FC but prevailed 2-2 on aggregate at the Orlando Stadium.
As a result, Mamelodi Sundowns will face Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 final on October 7 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Next on their agenda, Sundowns will aim to continue their perfect start to the DStv Premiership as they take on Stellenbosch on Wednesday.
Starting Lineup: Williams, Kekana, Boutouil, Lebusa, Coetzee, Mokoena, Mbule, Allende, Zwane, Ribeiro Costa, Shalulile.
Substitutes: D. Onyango, B. Onyango, Mashego, Modiba, Zungu, Morena, Maseko, Mendieta, Nku.