Nedbank Cup Final
Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium
Fulltime: Mamelodi Sundowns -- Marumo Gallants
Date: 28 May 2022
Sundowns made three changes to the team that beat Royal AM in a five-goal thriller on Monday, recalling Andile Jali, Lebohang Maboe, and Brian Onyango, with Themba Zwane starting off the bench. Early on, the Brazilians pressed Gallants high, and Gaston Sirino signalled his intentions with a blistering strike from outside the box that drove goalkeeper Washington Arubi into an outstretched save.
With their pressure on the ball, the Tshwane giants were able to force errors, and Sirino scored in the 20th minute with a brilliant drive from range, but the goal was disallowed due to a foul in the build-up. Sundowns' pressure paid off just after the half-hour mark, when Peter Shalulile pounced on Arubi's clumsy clearing, running past one opponent and firing into the net. While Gallants failed to register a single shot on target, Sirino had an excellent chance to double the Brazilians' lead nine minutes before halftime when he was put through on goal at the near post, but his shot went wide.
Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo finally tested shot-stopper Kennedy Mweene with a strike from outside the box three minutes after the half-time break, but the Zambian was equal to the task. Gallants continued their attacking intensity, forcing Sundowns to drop deep, and the Brazilians made a double change in the 65th minute, with Zwane replacing Sirino for fresh legs in attack and Sphelele Mkhulise replacing Thabiso Kutumela in a tactical alteration.
Bahlabane Ba Ntwa kept Sundowns pinned in their own half and was rewarded 14 minutes from time with a free header from Dion following a flick-on by Ndlondlo. In the dying minutes, Shalulile came close to securing the game for Masandawana with a lob over the onrushing Arubi in the box, but his effort went wide and the game went to extra-time.
Sundowns grabbed the initiative in extra-time, with Thapelo Morena and Bradley Ralani providing fresh legs. In the tenth minute, Lyle Lakay had a chance from a set-piece on the edge of the box, but his shot curled over the crossbar. Gallants began to show symptoms of exhaustion in the second extra-time period, and they were reduced to ten men in the last nine minutes after Ndlondlo received a second card for a foul on Morena.
After being set up by Zwane with a square pass, Morena stole the winner for the Brazilians at the death with a composed finish in the box towards the bottom corner.
Here's how they lined up:
Sundowns: 25. Mudau, 15. Jali, 33. Maboe, 1. Mweene, 4. Kekana, 6. B.Onyango, 7. Lakay, 32. Kutumela, 10. Sirino, 35. Maema, 38. Shalulile.
Subs: 27. Morena, 17. Modiba, 21. Mkhulise, 14. D.Onyango, 5. Lebusa, 14. Mvala, 28. Ralani, 9. Safranko, 28. Zwane
Gallants: 18. Nonyane, 6. Timm, 10. Ngema, 36. Arubi, 12. Khiba, 29. Gumede, 5. Mabotja, 11. Otladisa, 50. Sibeko, 20. Ndlondlo, 21. Molangoane.
Subs: 15. Mphambaniso, 30. Kumalo, 14. Lamola, 16. Ndlovu, 3. Manaka, 19. Ravhuhali, 44. Nhlapo, 33. Dion, 32. Makudubela.
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