Big Shocks In Nedbank Cup Semi-Finals
Nedbank Cup Wrap: Mameldo Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs Shocked In Semi-Finals
A weekend of shocks in the Nedbank Cup saw favourites Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs dumped out to set up a surprise final encounter at Cape Town Stadium on May 19.
The weekend's action started at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, where a now infamous evening at Durban's showpiece venue ended in tragedy.
Amakhosi were undone by a well-drilled Free State Stars side, with Harris Tchilimbou opening the scoring inside 40 seconds, before grabbing his brace with 34 minutes gone on the clock to ultimately sink the Soweto giants.
What should have been a joyous moment for Ea Lla Koto, who were headed to their first cup final since 1999, instead turned bitterly violent as a pitch invasion by disgruntled and disillusioned Chiefs fans was followed by mass rioting, vandalism and, most shockingly, the savage assaults of security personnel, one of whom reportedly succumbed to her injuries and passed away on Sunday.
Two persons have since been arrested, the South African Police Service confirmed to the Siya crew, while further investigations are due on all fronts.
Meanwhile, as South African football was still struggling to come to terms with Saturday's events, Sundowns were in action on Sunday afternoon as they travelled to the Harry Gwala Stadium to take on Maritzburg United in the second semi-final clash.
The Brazilians would have known they were in for a fight against Fadlu Davids' high-flying outfit, although they got off to the perfect start as Gaston Sirino opened the scoring after just 70 seconds as his low drive squirmed through the hands of Richard Ofori before rolling over the goal-line.
However, that would be the last piece of joy for Pitso Mosimane's men, who looked a shadow of their usual selves for much of the encounter and were ultimately made to pay for it as the Team of Choice hit back through Lebohang Maboe two minutes before the break.
The turning point in the game came with around 20 minutes remaining as Sirnino picked up a needless second booking and subsequent red card for a stamp in midfield, handing the impetus to United.
The KwaZulu-Natal side ensured they made the most of it after completing the comeback with five minutes of regulation time remaining through Mxolisi Kunene before Fortune Makaringe rounded off the win in second-half injury time.
That result meant it would be Martizburg United to take on Free State Stars in a surprise line-up for the 2018 Nedbank Cup final, with the Team of Choice drawn as the home side for the Cape Town Stadium encounter on May 19.
Who do you think will walk away with the Nedbank Cup crown this year?