Sundowns strike late to progress
A moment of brilliance by Mamelodi Sundowns separated them from Ajax Cape Town on the night, as they came out with a 1-0 victory at Cape Town Stadium to eliminate the Urban Warriors from the Nedbank Cup after extra time.
The match played out to a goalless draw after 90 minutes, before a Tebogo Langerman goal three minutes before the fulltime whistle of extra time saw the Brazilians progress into the next round.
Jan Versleijen made eight changes from the side which turned out against Bloemfontein Celtic in the midweek, with Sander Westerveld, Lance Davids and Wanderson all making their first appearances in 2013.
Meanwhile, Pitso Mosimane opted to make few changes to his rejuvenated side in order to continue on the decent run he has developed since taking over.
It was the visitors who got the game off on a more positive footing, controlling play and keeping the possession away from Ajax.
And it was the Sundowns fans who thought Anthony Laffour handed them a lead in the 12th minute, but his stinging effort struck the side netting.
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In the 20th minute, Ajax had a good opportunity to turn a goalscoring chance into a possible goal. Lebogang Manyama did well to run up the flank and cut into the box, however, his teammates failed to get on the end of his cross and test Wayne Sandilands.
Matthew Booth prevented Katlego Mphela from making the scoreline 1-0, ten minutes later, when he plucked the ball off ‘Killer’s’ feet just before he was about to unleash a shot at goal.
Then, Travis Graham had an excellent chance to give Ajax the lead just before the break, as he struck an effort from 20-yards out which inched just over the crossbar.
Paul Rusike’s failure to impress saw him substituted before the halftime whistle against Bloemfontein Celtic, and he once again felt the wrath of Versleijen as he was replaced by Khama Billiat for the start of the second half.
Just after the hour mark, injury to Alje Schut forced the Dutchman to be replaced by Wayne Arendse as Sundowns started to pick up the pace again.
Then, Billiat did well to run to the byline and cut inside, but his eventual shot was easily dealt with by Wayne Sandilands.
As the game was approaching extra time Mphela had a chance to kill off the encounter when he connected to the end of a cross inside the box, but his header was directed wide of the post.
The form showed by Sundowns in the second half spilled over into extra time and both Nyasha Mushekwi and Edward Manqele tried their luck, but neither could produce the goods.
Billiat almost made it worth the wait when he struck a looping cross on the volley, but his effort sailed just wide of the post.
Still, both teams’ scoring continued to elude them and just when it seemed that the game was destined for penalties Tebogo Langerman took a hit from 20-yards out and rattled the back of the net.
Ajax Cape Town (0) 0
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 1 (Langerman 117’)
Ajax Cape Town: Westerveld, Lolo, Allie, Booth, Lebusa, Graham, Wanderson (Scott 84’), Shabalala, Manyama (Khenyeza 66’), Davids, Rusike (Billiat 46’)
Mamelodi Sundowns: Sandilands, Mwanjale, Schut (Arendse 62’), Mabaso, Langerman, Kekana, Nyandoro, Pelembe, Laffor, Mphela (Manqele 87’), Modise (Mushekwi 52’)