Ronwen Williams emerged as the hero, saving two penalties as SuperSport United beat Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out (0-0 after extra-time) at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening to book their place in the Telkom Knockout semifinals.
Matsatsantsa played half the game with 10-men, but Stuart Baxter’s chargers were not to be denied as Pitso Mosimane’s troops fluffed three attempt from 12 yards – the defending champions crashing out at the quarterfinal stage.
The Brazilians played like African Champions in the early exchanges, the home side racing out of the blocks in search of an early goal.
Percy Tau was the main protagonist with the diminutive attacker causing Matsatsantsa all sorts of problems in the opening exchanges.
Having forced Ronwen Williams into an early save, the Sundowns youth product launched a marauding run from well within his own half, weaving his way in the box before setting-up Khama Billiat, who failed to cap what would have been one of the goals of the season – the Zimbabweans shot rolling narrowly wide of goal.
Sundowns continued to look the more dangerous of the two side’s, but SuperSport would themselves conjure a golden opportunity with 23 minutes on the clock.
Jeremy Brockie, who has been in good scoring form of late, unlucky to see his free-kick attempt canon off the crossbar and out of danger.
Following what was a blistering start to the match, the two teams were unable to maintain the tempo with the score deadlocked at half-time.
SuperSport created the first chance of the second stanza through Brockie, the New Zealand international unable to covert past Kennedy Mweene from close range after the ball fell favourable for him inside the area.
But, just as Matsatsantsa battled their way into the game Onismor Bhasera received his marching orders with 63 minutes on the clock. Referee Victor Gomes issuing two yellow cards in quick succession as the Zimbabwean effectively talked himself into an early shower.
Despite being a man short, SuperSport had a chance to wrap up proceedings within regulation time, but somehow the combination of the post and Mweene kept out Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Michael Boxall from point-blank range.
Second-half substitute Anthony Laffor finally rattled the back of the net in the second minute of extra-time, but the assistants flag was raised for offisde.
Sundowns continued to dictate proceedings with Wayne Arendse seeing his 111th minute header over the crossbar, but despite a catalogue of chances – neither side were able to find the back of the net in over two hours of football.
Penalties duly followed with SuperSport flawless from 12 yards – Anthony Laffor, Thabo Nthethe and Sibusiso Vilakazi missed their respective spot-kicks for the hosts as Matsatsantsa snapped a seven game losing streak against their Tshwane rivals in all competitions.
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 0
SuperSport United (0) 0
SuperSport win 3-1 on penalties
Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene; Langerman, Nascimento, Arendse, Morena (Nthethe 121′) – Mabunda (Laffor 76′), Kekana – Dolly (Mohomi 88′), Vilakazi, Tau – Billiat
SuperSport United: Williams; Boxall, Booysen, Daniels, Bhasera – Furman,Letsholonyane – Phala (Modiba 78′), Brockie (Farmer 68′), Mnyamane – Grobler (Nkhatha 98′)