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Mamelodi Sundowns

Downs Rescued By New Signing In MTN8 Semis

Mamelodi Sundowns left it late to rescue an away goal in the first leg of their MTN8 semi-final against Golden Arrows.

MTN8 Semi-Final

Result: Golden Arrows 1-1 Mamelodi Sundowns

Date: 28 August 2021

Venue: Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium

Sundowns made five changes from the goalless draw with Chippa Unietd, as Gaston Sirino, Kermit Erasmus, Thapelo Morena, Andile Jali and Sphelele Mkhulise were all recalled but there was still no place for Themba Zwane.

Abafana Bes'thende got off to the perfect start as Nqobeko Dlamini gave the hosts the lead in the sixth minute with a cracking low strike from range into the bottom corner.

The good start threatened to derail after Arrows were forced to make a change on the half-hour mark, as Pule Mmodi suffered a head injury and was replaced by Siboniso Conco.

Masandawana were camped in the Abafana Bes'thende half in the closing phase of the first stanza, but the Arrows defence did well to nullify any threat coming into the final third.

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The Brazilians kept the pressure on early in the second stanza but Velemseni Ndwandwe nearly gave Arrows a 2-0 lead eight minutes from the half-time break with a looping strike from outside the box that was parried over the bar by shot-stopper Denis Onyango.

Grant Kekana had Sundowns' first big chance three minutes before the hour-mark after a deflected cross from a corner fell on his path unmarked on the far side but he guided the effort over the bar, from point-blank range.

The visitors made a change five minutes later, as Aubrey Modiba replaced Mkhulise for fresh legs in midfield while in the 64th minute Seema also made a change after bringing on Knox Mutizwa for Michael Gumede.

Masandawana were desperate for the equaliser in the last 18 minutes and they made a double change, as Pavol Safranko replaced Lyle Lakay in a tactical move and Thabiso Kutumela replaced Peter Shalulile for fresh legs upfront.

The changed paid off as Safranko eventually levelled matters in the last five minutes with a tap-in after goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana spilled a low cross by Kutumela, as the Brazilians now take a slight advantage into the second leg next month.

Here's how they started:

Arrows: 36. Mlungwana, 29. Sibisi, 15. Zuke, 28. M.Dube, 30. Cele, 24. Dlamini, 12. Ndwandwe, 7. Mtshali, 13. Mmodi, 19. Magawana, 33. M. Gumede.

Subs: 1. Mbaeva, 20. Mathiane, 35. Mantshiyane, 37. Ndlovu, 11. Sibiya, 8. Sabelo, 22. Mbhele, 17. Conco, 18. Mutizwa.

Sundowns: 14. Onyango, 27. Morena, 7. Lakay, 28. De Reuck, 3. G.Kekana, 15. Jali, 21. Mkhulise, 41. Coetzee, 10.Sirino, 11. Erasmus, 38. Shalulile

Subs: 1. Mweene, 12. Maluleka, 23. Domingo, 6. B. Onyango, Kutumela, 37. Modiba, 35. Maema, 9.Safranko, 24. Vilakazi.

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