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Kennedy Mweene of Mamelodi Sundowns saves a penalty during the match against Kaizer Chiefs in Atteridgeville, August 15 2021. Picture: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX
Kennedy Mweene of Mamelodi Sundowns saves a penalty during the match against Kaizer Chiefs in Atteridgeville, August 15 2021. Picture: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

Goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene was the hero for Mamelodi Sundowns as the Brazilians beat Kaizer Chiefs on penalties to advance to the semifinals of the MTN8 at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Man of the match Mweene made four saves during the shoot-out and was only beaten by Keagan Dolly as Sundowns won the tense shoot-out 2-1 in Atteridgeville.

Mweene delivered a sterling performance in the shoot-out and he was in inspired form during regulation time, in which the two sides cancelled each other out to finish at 2-2 after extra time.

It was a game of intense drama and Sundowns were always expected to take the game to a Chiefs side that is still very much in the building stages under new coach Stuart Baxter, trying to regain its foothold in the domestic game.

And indeed, the Brazilians did exactly that in regulation time when live wire Peter Shalulile rose above two Chiefs defenders to beat goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune with a fine header after a smart delivery from Lyle Lakay in the ninth minute.

Shalulile developed an incredible appetite for goals last season. Baxter will have been disappointed by the relative ease the Namibian had when rising above his minders to put the home side on the scoreboard first.

Sundowns were not done and returned to haunt defenders Erick Mathoho and Daniel Cardoso in the 23rd minute when Mothobi Mvala delivered a crisp pass that found Themba Zwane. The footballer of the season did not need a second invitation before beating Khune with a low shot.

It seemed the flood gates would open at that stage as Chiefs were struggling to contain the Premier Soccer League champions from putting them to the sword. But Baxter’s teams always have a tough determination about them and it was no surprise when the visitors pulled one back courtesy of veteran Bernard Parker after a delivery from Njabulo Blom in the 38th minute.

The two sides went into the halftime break with Sundowns leading 2-1.

But Chiefs had other ideas in the second half and former Sundowns players Keagan Dolly and Khama Billiat linked up to draw Amakhosi level at 2-2 in the 58th minute.

Dolly delivered the crisp pass that Billiat used to perfection to beat Mweene  and draw level in the 38th minute.

The two sides could not find a way past each other thereafter and went into extra time still locked at 2-2. But the extended period did not yield any dramatic change and it was left to the lottery of the shoot-out to decide the outcome.

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