Draw pits city rivals Sundowns and SuperSport against each other in MTN8 semis
Pretoria rivals Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United will resume hostilities in the semifinals of the MTN8 after Sunday’s draw on Sunday pitted the two against each other.
The teams must be sick of the sight of each other as they met on the opening day of the season recently, with Sundowns registering a comfortable 2-0 win.
The semifinals, over two legs, will see Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane go up against his protege Kaitano Tembo in a game that has become one of the most exciting encounters on the calendar.
Polokwane City will host Highlands Park in the second semifinal.
The first-leg matches will be played on the weekend of August 30–September 1.
United marched into the semifinals after comfortably beating Wits 3-0 at Bidvest Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A goal from Bradley Grobler early in the second half put the visitors in control.
Despite United coach Tembo’s expressionless face after Grobler’s 55th minute strike, and he will have been delighted at the striker’s effort.
The visitors began the build-up from the edge of their penalty area and after man-of-the-match Sipho Mbule forcefully retained possession and shrugged off challenges from the Wits players‚ he fired a low shot that slipped past bemused Clever Boys captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and fell in the path of a grateful Grobler.
The striker made no mistake from close range and beat goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse with a well-taken low shot.
Hlatshwayo will be kicking himself after that costly error as it was his poor clearance under pressure that inadvertently rolled the ball in Grobler’s path‚ leading to the opening goal of the afternoon.
United were not done and it was new man Thamsanqa Gabuza who broke the home fans’ hearts with a thunderous header that Pieterse knew very little about.
Mbule was again involved in the build-up and after passing the ball to Teboho Mokoena‚ the latter laid it on nicely for Siyabonga Nhlapo, who delivered the perfect cross that landed beautifully on the head of the rising Gabuza.
Gabuza put the game out of Wits’ reach from the penalty spot three minutes from time after Kudakwashe Mahachi was brought down in the area by Zitha Macheke.
It was a clumsy tackle by Macheke in a dangerous area and Gabuza’s penalty pretty much knocked the stuffing out of the home side.