Lakay stoppage-time stunner keeps Sundowns treble dream alive 

Andile Jali of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Rowan Human of Bidvest Wits during the 2020 Nedbank Cup Semifinals match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits at the Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg on the 08 August 2020 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Wits came back to level the scores twice but it still wasn’t enough as Sundowns found a last-gasp route into the Nedbank Cup final.

In what was an end-to-end battle for a spot in the Nedbank Cup final, Mamelodi Sundowns kept their dream of claiming a domestic treble alive when they beat Bidvest Wits 3-2 in a thrilling contest at the Orlando Stadium.

After the two sides had exchanged four goals equally, it seemed as though extra-time was looming but Lyle Lakay had other ideas. The winger came off the bench to score the winner with a stunning free-kick which was the final kick of the game, setting up a meeting with Bloemfontein Celtic in the final.
Before Lakay’s heroics, the Brazilians went up in the first half through a spot-kick after referee Luxolo Badi penalized Wits defender Buhle Mkhwanazi for shirt-tugging Motjeka Madisha in the 36th minute. Veteran defender and Sundowns’ designated penalty-taker Ricardo Nascimento stepped up with calm nerves and made no mistake.
Gavin Hunt was the first to turn to his bench – where he had five options – and he brought on the duo of Rowan Human and Zitha Macheke in the place of Lorenzo Gordinho and Kgaogelo Sekgota at half time. On the opposite camp, Pitso Mosimane took some more time to roll the dice but eventually withdrew Sibusiso Vilakazi who showed a lukewarm display in the hour he was given. The pacey Keletso Makgalwa was brought in to inject Downs’ attack.
Mosimane went onto strengthen his midfield with the introduction of Andile Jali who replaced winger Sphelele Mkhulise and joined the central pairing of skipper Hlompho Kekana and Rivaldo Coetzee. Meanwhile, Themba Zwane made way for Lakay.
Just when Downs thought they were in cruise control, the Students stole the ball from Madisha, who, under no pressure at all, was dispossessed by the Dzvukamanja and he surged towards a helpless Denis Onyango, slotting past the Ugandan to level matters.
Five minutes later, Sundowns thought Makgalwa was the ace-card yet again for Downs as it seemed he had scored the winner as he did in the previous round against Highlands Park. His goal was a result of poor communication between Wits captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo who allowed the 23-year-old to steal the loose ball and rattle the net.
However, his heroics were soon cancelled out by Dzvukamanja, who completed his brace to draw the sides level only for Lakay to steal the show in the last second of the game.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.



today in print