Sundowns Edge Cape Town All Stars

Mamelodi Sundowns edged out Cape Town All Stars 1-0 in the Nedbank Cup Last 32 match at the Athlone Stadium on Friday night.

As a result, the Brazilians advanced to the Last 16, while Igugu Lekapa bowed out of the lucrative competition.

The Cup match got off to a lively start as Igugu Lekapa and the Brazilians both launched attacks in search of an early goal.

Ruzaigh Gamildien forced Sundowns goalkeeper Razak Brimah into a save, before Percy Tau’s effort from a deadball situation was saved by Stars shot-stopper Ludwe Mpakumpaku

Stars, who are campaigning in the National First Division (NFD), had dominated possession in the opening stages of the game, but Sundowns grew in confidence as the match progressed.

New Sundowns left-back Siyabonga Zulu set-up Percy Tau, whose long-range effort was deflected out for a corner-kick as the half-hour mark approached.

Zulu, who joined the 2016 Caf Champions League winners from Platinum Stars last month, then tried his luck from range, but his shot went wide of the target without troubling Mpakumpaku.

The hosts stood firm at the back and the match referee blew the halftime whistle and the score was 0-0 at the interval between Stars and Sundowns.

Igugu Lekapa was the better side after the restart and they should have broken the deadlock three minutes after the restart, but Lucky Setelele missed the target from close range.

Ntshuxeko Ndlovu also had a chance to make it 1-0 to Stars just before the hour-mark from close range, but the midfielder dragged his shot wide of the target.

The hosts, who are the guidance of Brandon ‘Brakkies’ Truter, were left to rue their missed chances as Sundowns broke the deadlock on the hour-mark through Tau.

The in-form forward beat Mpakumpaku with a great finish to make it 1-0 to Sundowns with Uruguayan winger Gaston Sirino grabbing an assist, much to the delight of the away fans.

The visitors continued to attack in search of more goals and Tau nearly grabbed his brace in the 75th minute. The forward tried to curl the ball into the top corner, but he missed the target.

Sirino should have doubled Sundowns’ lead in the closing stages of the game after he was sent through on goal, but the diminutive winger’s effort narrowly missed the target.

Ultimately, Sundowns emerged 1-0 winners over Stars, who could not snatch a late equalising goal to send the match into extra-time.

Stars (0) 0

Sundowns (0) 1 (Tau 60′)

All Stars: Mpakumpaku, Ndiki, Makua, Gertse (Matlou 90′), Williams, Mbunjana, Gamildien, Ndlovu, Tshabalala, Mvalo, Setelele (Abrahams 85′).

Sundowns: Brimah, Zulu, Morena, Arendse, Madisha, Manyisa, Ngoma (Sirino 58′), Mabunda, Zwane (Lebese 89′), Brockie (Sekotlong 81′), Tau