New Zealand

Sundowns stretched to the limit to edge Stellenbosch in Nedbank thriller

Sundowns struck the woodwork twice and their telepathic inter-passing deserved more in normal, and then also extra, time. Ultimately, they also failed to bury those opportunities, and Barker’s nuggety Stellenbosch rode their luck.

Finally, with in the 117th minute, Shalulile struck his second and Downs’ winner.

Sundowns would have been bemused to go to the break at 1-1, creating chances, hitting the post, and conceding a soft opener.

Lyle Lakay’s stray pass deep in his half to the feet of Du Preez allowed the spritely 23-year-old to run between the centrebacks unchallenged and finish low past Ricardo Goss.

Downs hit straight back, right-back Lebohang Maboe’s chip from the halfway line setting free the excellently-timed run to beat offside of Shalulile. The Namibian lobbed past Stephens then rolled a finish into an open goal.

Lakay’s free-kick in first-half added time was palmed by Stephens onto the upright.

In a marvellous movement in the 72nd Sirino touched Lakay through on the left, who fed inside to Themba Zwane, received the return pass, and touched Zwane through. The Bafana Bafana international fed inside again, but, Shalulile, with just Stephens to beat, found the outstretched leg of the keeper.

Downs’ mesmeric passing deserved a goal. It came when Andile Jali’s chip in was half-cleared to Kermit Erasmus, who fed fellow substitute Lesedi Kapinga, who teed up Sirino in the D, the Uruguyan slipping a low strike past Stephens.

That should have been game over. Crazily, with their third real chance of the game, Stellenbosch’s Argentinean forward Junior Mendieta received a clearance on the right, beat Jali through his legs and teed up fellow substitute Nange to finish past Goss.

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