Mamelodi Sundowns defeated Vasco Da Gama 1-0 in the Nedbank Cup semi-final on Sunday at the Lucas Moripe Stadium. The Brazilians, who are looking to secure some silverware this season, advanced to the final of the knockout tournament thanks to a Mzikayise Mashaba long range shot in the 59th minute. The game in essence was a dull affair.
Much of the game played out as expected. Pitso Mosimane’s men were going to attack and Vasco was doing most of the defending. In the space of two minutes in the 25th and 27th minutes the Capetonians won and missed two free kicks which could’ve been used to much better effect had they been utilised.
Kennedy Mweene was called into action again in the 40th and 41st minutes. He first collected a shot to make an easy save then he made a diving save to keep out an effort by an opposing striker. The game went into half-time 0-0. A minute into the second half, the visitors smashed a free kick into the Sundowns wall.
Both teams continued to cancel each other’s efforts out as each defence worked tirelessly to keep a clean sheet and protect their goalkeepers. Then Mashaba struck the back of the net from some distance to pull the Pretorians ahead in the 59th minute. He found himself with space to look up and decide what to do next.
His decision clearly took the goalkeeper by surprise as the shot sailed into the back of the net. The game proceeded to sway both ways as the home team looked to double their score and the visitors searched for the equaliser. In the 79th minute Khama Billiat was denied a goal by the goalkeeper after he had done well to create himself a chance.
Two minutes later Hlompho Kekana was also denied a goal after he had struck a rebound ball from a corner. The PSL giants held on to their lead in the remaining minutes to see off their National First Division opponents. The win means Sundowns will face Ajax Cape Town in the final of the knockout tournament.
Photo credit: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix