Football

MAMELODI SUNDOWNS IN THE NEDBANK CUP SEMIFINALS

PIC:  Aubrey Modiba of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates his goal

Mamelodi Sundowns are appearing in their fourth Nedbank Cup semifinal in five years having lifted the trophy in 2020 and 2022, to go with earlier victories in 2008 and 2015.
They have a tough last-4 clash away at Stellenbosch FC on Sunday, May 5, the team that knocked them out at the quarterfinal stage last year.
The Brazilians have a mixed record in the semifinals, winning five to go with three defeats since 2008. Here is a look back at how they have fared.

2008 – MAMELODI SUNDOWNS 1-0 AMAZULU
A tightly-contested clash that was ultimately decided by a goal from Zimbabwe midfielder Esrom Nyandoro midway through the second half. Sundowns had already ousted SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs in the prior rounds, so this was a really tough run to the decider. There they met second-tier Mpumalanga Black Aces and won thanks to a late Lerato Chabangu goal.      

2010 – AMAZULU 1-1 MAMELODI SUNDOWNS
After extra-time; AmaZulu won 4-3 on penalties

Usuthu would get their revenge two years later when the teams clashed again in the last-4. Lebohang Mokoena scored the goal for The Brazilians with 15 minutes remaining, and neither side could find a winner in extra-time. That meant the game went to penalties, where AmaZulu held their nerve to win 4-3.   

2012 – MAMELODI SUNDOWNS 2-0 FREE STATE STARS
Two years later and Sundowns were back in the semifinals, this time facing a tricky Free State Stars side. But two first half goals from the late Richard Henyekane and Zimbabwe forward Nyasha Mushekwi – his record 10th of the campaign – sealed a comfortable victory. Sundowns had earlier beaten Powerlines FC 24-0 in the Last 32, but went on to lose the final 2-0 to local rivals SuperSport. 

2015 – MAMELODI SUNDOWNS 1-0 VASCO DA GAMA
This looked like a routine assignment against second-tier Vasco da Gama, but Sundowns were run close by their less illustrious opponents. It took a Mzikayise Mashaba goal on the hour-mark to settle the contest. Sundowns beat Ajax Cape Town on penalties to lift the trophy. There is a little more to this story, Vasco were eventually sold ahead of the 2016/17 season to form … Stellenbosch FC.  

2018 – MARITZBURG UNITED 3-1 MAMELODI SUNDOWNS
A shock result in a game in which Sundowns were heavy favourites but were undone by the youthful exuberance of Maritzburg United in front of their passionate home fans. Things went well early on when Gaston Sirino gave Sundowns the lead inside two minutes, but the home team were in inspired form and turned the tie on its head.

2020 – MAMELODI SUNDOWNS 3-2 BIDVEST WITS
A semifinal played with no fans in the Gauteng bio-bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the strangest of times at the Orlando Stadium played host to the fixture. It was a five-goal thriller between two top teams, but goals from Ricardo Nascimento (penalty) and Keletso Makgalwa left the game at 2-2, before Lyle Lakay netted a stunning winner in injury-time. Sundowns went on to beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in the final at the same venue as Sirino netted the only goal of the game.

2021 – MAMELODI SUNDOWNS 0-0 TTM
After extra-time; TTM won 6-5 on penalties

TTM (now Marumo Gallants) took Sundowns to penalties after arguably the greatest goalkeeping performance in Nedbank Cup history from Washington Arubi. The Zimbabwean saved everything Sundowns threw at him, with some miraculous stops, and was the sole reason why they did no win the game comfortably. He maintained that in the shootout as TTM were 6-5 winners and went on to beat Chippa United in the decider.
     

2022 – ROYAL AM 1-2 MAMELODI SUNDOWNS
A third semifinal in a row and Sundowns this time avoided extra-time and spot-kicks. It was hard work though as goals from Aubrey Modiba and Pavol Safranko saw them complete the job in the 90 minutes. They defeated Gallants in the final thanks to Peter Shalulile and Thapelo Morena, who netted in the 120th minute to avoid the lottery of penalties.

SOURCED FROM THE NEDBANK CUP WEBSITE

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