Michaelson Gumede
2 minute read
8 Feb 2020
10:34 pm

Sundowns win Tshwane derby to advance to Cup last-16

Michaelson Gumede

Mamelodi Sundowns fans had to celebrate their 1-0 victory over crosstown rivals, SuperSport United, with a lump in their throat and the beat of their drum lost its tune for a while after Thapelo Morena sadly broke his leg.

Sibusiso Vilakazi of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal with teammates during the 2020 Nedbank Cup match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Supersport United at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria on 08 February 2020 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

What began as a great game for Morena ended as a nightmare in the 71st minute when his foot got stuck in the grass on his way down to the ground following a challenge by Kudakwashe Mahachi. The Zimbabwean’s challenge was not a malicious one, it appeared, but Morena ended up breaking his right foot in what looked like an injury that could keep him out until beyond the end of this season.

Before that nasty incident, every time the camera operator shifted the focus to the speedster, he or she had to readjust the shutter speed to clearly capture Morena when he is on his bike. Morena’s pace was, as is often the case, the big difference in the first half when he got quick off the mark to make a mockery out of the experienced Clayton Daniels.

Morena received a through ball from Gaston Sirino and had no problem chasing it down to deliver a well-timed pass to Sibusiso Vilakazi, who lashed on the ball to score the opener in 27th minute. Before his trademark goal celebration with coach Pitso Mosimane where they shake hands in jubilation, Vilakazi went straight to the broadcaster’s camera and dedicated his goal to his mother who was celebrating her birthday.

The former Bloemfontein Celtic winger, continued to be a menace to United’s backline as he made the likes of Grant Kekana, Siyabonga Nhlapho and Daniels chase shadows. His biggest victim was centre-back Siyabonga Nhlapho, who was could not deal with Morena’s pace, especially when he cut in from the left to navigate his way towards goal.

Matsatsantsa A Pitori head coach, Kaitano Tembo, decided to withdraw Nhlapho at the start of the second half as he could see that Morena was running rings around him. Botswana international, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe was his replacement.

However, Masandawana held on to their goal to advance to the last 16 of the tournament.

 

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