Football

STOPPAGE TIME EQUALISER FROM MUDAU EARNS MASANDAWANA DRAW AGAINST AMAKHOSI

Mamelodi Sundowns were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the MTN 8 semi finals when they locked horns with Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday afternoon at FNB Stadium. 

Khuliso Mudau’s late header ensured that Masandawana would head into the second leg round at home with an away goal advantage, meanwhile Edson Castilo broke the deadlock in the second half when Ashley Du Preez made a long-range cross into the box to find him.

In a heart-pounding showdown in Soweto, the clash between the two teams burst into life as soon as the referee’s whistle went off and Chiefs got the first half underway. The two clubs engaged in a thrilling tussle for ball possession, with neither side willing to concede as the early exchanges showcased the intensity of the rivalry.

Just before the clock struck ten minutes, the first notable moment of the game arrived, Sundowns initiated their first attempt into the Chiefs’ penalty box. Teboho Mokoena found himself in a promising position to unleash a shot, but a wall of Chiefs defenders put themselves in front of him, denying the playmaker the opportunity to test the goalkeeper.

Two minutes later Aubrey Modiba attempted to

break the deadlock from distance but his effort sailed over the crossbar.

It was in the twentieth minute when Lucas Ribeiro loaded an elevated long ball into Amakhosi’s 18-yard area. Themba Zwane tried his luck with a well-placed shot, but his attempt soared just inches above Brandon Pietersen’s crossbar. After regaining possession of the ball, Chiefs were not able to hold on to it for a long time and Bafana Ba Style were then awarded a free-kick, swiftly taken by Neo Maema and Ribeiro. 

The Brazilian forward unleashed a thunderous shot on target, leaving Pietersen with no choice but to leap high up and make a vital save

Just over the half hour mark, unfortunately for Sundowns their Captain Zwane was brought down in injury.

The midfield maestro was stretchered off and replaced by the energetic Lesiba Nku. With the clock ticking towards half-time, Nku and Marcelo Allende ignited Masandawana’s’ attack.

Their outstanding combination play sent Ribeiro darting down the left flank. Ribeiro unleashed a thunderous shot on target, prompting Pieterse to swiftly move off his line and save the day for Kaizer Chiefs.

Teboho Mokoena tried his luck from outside the box, the attempt came close to the top post, but narrowly

missed the mark. The first half concluded with the teams going into the break at deadlock, however it was Masandawana who held the most possession and had taken 6 shots, with 1 going on target.

The second half started off with Sundowns attacking and on the front foot, Ribeiro tried to go for goal in the box but his shot was blocked and the home team regained possession. It didn’t take long for Masandawana to find their way back into the attacking lines, a free-kick was awarded to them after Ribeiro was fouled. Mokoena stepped up, ready to pull one back for the team but went off target in his attempt.

At the fifty minute mark, Modiba and Ribeiro displayed a dazzling work of one-touch football, going through the home team’s defensive lines. The ball eventually found its way to Nku, who unleashed a thunderous right-footed shot towards the goal, but it narrowly missed the target. A few minutes later, Modiba and Maema both tested their luck with powerful strikes from around the box. The Chiefs’ goalkeeper had to be at his sharpest to deny the relentless Sundowns attackers.

In the 60th minute, a dramatic turn of events took place, Amakhosi seized the lead through Edson Castile, who soared through the air to connect with an Ashley Du Preez.

Castilo executed a well taken diving header that found the back of the net to be 1-0 up in the encounter. Sundowns responded to this setback by making a substitution in the sixty fifth minute, with Junior Mendieta replacing Maema.

As the clock ticked on and fifteen minutes left to play, Rivaldo Coetzee, Modiba, and AB Boutouil made way for fresh legs in the form of Bathusi Aubaas, Terrence Mashego and Siyabonga Mabena. Sundowns looked increasingly threatening in attack, but Pietersen, Chiefs’ goalkeeper, was quick off his line to collect any loose balls before the Sundowns forwards could take shots. With only 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Allende stepped up to take a crucial free-kick.

He expertly sent the ball over the defensive wall, and it seemed destined for the back of the net but Pieterse had to stretch out to make a sensational save.

Khuliso Mudau emerged as the hero for Masandawana in the 80th minute, Mendieta, operated on the left flank and delivered a pinpoint cross into the box.

Mudau was perfectly positioned to meet the ball and headed it past Pieterse, equalizing for Sundowns. The final whistle blew, bringing an exhilarating clash to a close.  The stage is set for an entertaining second leg at Lucas Moripe Stadium on September 23.

SOURCED FROM THE CLUB’S WEBSITE.

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