Stars stun Sundowns to reach TKO semis

PLATINUM Stars came back from a goal down to beat Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 in their Telkom Knockout quarterfinal at the Moruleng Stadium on Saturday night.

The Brazilians took an early lead through Dove Wome but Mogakolodi Ngele leveled matters from the penalty spot late in the first half before Mduduzi Nyanda neeted the winner after the break.

The Brazilians threatened from the word go and came close to taking the lead in the opening minute of the game when the ball fell for Anthony Laffor on the edge of the penalty area, but he rushed his shot wide of the target.

Ten minutes later Laffor managed to find the target with a volleyed attempt from outside the box, but Siyabonga Mpontshane managed to get his body behind the ball.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 13th minute from a swift attacking move as Wome fired past Mpontshane from the edge of the box with the help of a deflection from Issa Sarr.

Alje Schut came close to doubling the lead just two minutes later when he connected with Khama Billiat’s corner at the far post, but his downward header bounced and then looped over the crossbar.

Tebogo Langerman should have done better a minute later when he was put through by a clever backheel from Billiat on the left side of the box, only for the fullback to blast his shot well over the target.

Dikwena came inches close to leveling matters in the 24th minute when Mduduzi Nyanda collected the ball on the left side before curling a right-footed shot which came off the inside of the far post.

The two sides then traded blows with Wome forcing a good save from Mpontshane from inside the box in the 28th minute, while Kennedy Mweene had to dive to his right to stop an effort from Ngele a minute later.

Stars were then awarded a penalty in the 39th minute as Mweene was adjudged to have tripped Siphelele Mthembu inside the box and Ngele made no mistake from the spot as he slotted the ball into the bottom right corner with the goalkeeper going the wrong way.

The hosts came close to taking the lead six minutes into the second half when Nyanda delivered a cross from the right to find Siphelele Mthembu in the box, but somehow he sidefooted wide of the post.

Sundowns were then awarded a penalty in the 56th minute after Cuthbert Malajila was bundled down inside the box; Billiat’s first attempt was saved by Mpontshane but referee Victor Gomes ordered a retake which the Sundowns winger fired over the crossbar.

Stars then had two good opportunities with Ngele forcing Mweene to push his effort over the crossbar in the 68th minute, while Robert Ng’ambi volleyed over the crossbar from close range a minute later.

However, the pressure did pay off for Dikwena in the 70th minute when Nyanda fired past Mweene from the centre of the penalty area after Mthembu’s attempt had been deflected into his path.

Ngele came close to extending the lead five minutes later when he weaved past defenders to break into the box on the left before drilling the ball towards th far post, but Mweene made a brilliant save to keep his effort out.

Sundowns threw everything forward in the closing stages of the match but they were unable to get behind the Stars defence with their only real chance coming from Mzikayise Mashaba, who shot over the crossbar in the second minute of added time.

Platinum Stars (1) 2 (Ngele pen 39’, Nyanda 70’)
Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 1 (Wome 13’)

Stars: Mpontshane, Mere, Gumede, Mhlongo, Ngwepe, Sarr, Ng’ambi, Ngele (Mathe 78’), Tshabalala (Botes 90’), Nyanda (Msomi 76’), Mthembu S

Sundowns: Mweene, Langerman, Arendse, Schut, Moon, Wome (Mashego 74’), Kekana, Billiat (Moriri 86’), Zungu, Laffor (Mashaba 80’), Malajila.

In another match earlier, SuperSport United lambasted Moroka Swallows 3-1 to proceed to the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout.-Backpage TXT



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