Irresistible Sundowns trash Arrows to reach MTN8 final

Mamelodi Sundowns proved too strong for Lamontville Golden Arrows as they claimed a 3-0 victory in the MTN8 semifinal second-leg match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Tuesday evening.

The emphatic victory saw Masandawana reach the final where they will take on the winner between Swallows FC or Cape Town City after defeating Abafana Bes’thende 4-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in the first-leg clash.

Abafana Bes’thende would have been wary of the in-form duo of Peter Shalulile and Thabiso Kutumela after the deadly attackers tormented the Orlando Pirates defence as Masandawana secured a 2-0 victory over the weekend.

The duo was able to carry their DStv Premiership form into the cup clash as Kutumela’s low shot was blocked by goalkeeper Sifso Mlungwana and Shalulile scored from the rebound to hand Sundowns a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the encounter – making it five goals in four matches for himself.

The 2020/21 season saw Velemseni Ndwandwe establish himself as a goalscoring midfielder – scoring seven goals in the league in his breakout campaign and he tried to level matters for Arrows with a well-taken snapshot, but keeper Reyaad Petersen produced a fine save to deny him.

Masandawana looked dangerous from aerial balls and Kutumela’s great delivery from a set-piece was headed home by Devine Lunga, who netted his first goal for the Tshwane giants against his former side in the 29th minute, and the score was 2-0 to Sundowns at the interval and they were also 3-1 up on aggregate.

Having hit the upright with a diving header on the stroke of halftime, Kutumela continued to be a real livewire and proving to be a constant menace to the Abafana Bes’thende defence in the second half as he looked to join his strike partner Shalulile on the scoresheet.

Arrows head coach Lehlohonolo Seema introduced an attack-minded duo of Thubelihle Magubane and Siyabonga Khumalo, who had an opportunity to make an immediate impact after a quick move by the visitors, but the former TS Galaxy star’s low shot shot missed the target.

The momentum was with the visitors in the closing proceedings and they were awarded two free-kicks in promising positions, but Simo Mbhele was denied twice by Petersen from the set-pieces and Masandawana technical team introduced Neo Maema.

The left-footed attacking midfielder injected some pace into the hosts’ attack and he managed to put his name on the score sheet when he hit the back of the net with a delightful finish into the top corner – sealing Sundowns’ 3-0 victory over Arrows in stoppage time.

Sundowns (2) 3 (Shalulile 4′, Lunga 29′, Maema 90’+4)

Arrows (0) 0

Sundowns: Pieterse (Goss 85′), Lunga (Modiba 69′), Lakay, de Reuck, Kekana, Jali, Zwane (Sirino 46′), Domingo, Kutumela (Maema 69′), Safranko, Shalulile (Mkhulise 80′).

Arrows: Mlungwana, Sibisi (Mathiane 85′), Zuke, Mantshiyane, M.Dube, Dlamini, Ndwandwe (Mbhele 46′), Mmodi (S. Cele 46′), Sibiya (Magubane 62′), Mutizwa (Khumalo 62′), Gumede.

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