Nyasha Mushekwi was the hero as Mamelodi Sundowns beat Platinum Stars 1-0 in a Telkom Knockout round of 16 soccer match at the Moruleng Stadium on Saturday night.
The Zimbabwean netted the winner 10 minutes from time, beating three defenders before firing a low shot past goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.
The first chance of the game came in the fourth minute and surprisingly it went the way of the home side.
A long ball from the back saw Brian Baloyi make an uncharacteristic mistake, allowing the ball to bounce off his knees and into the path of Thuso Phala.
The Stars striker though, squandered the chance as he chipped the ball over the keeper and the crossbar from the edge of the area.
That was about as good as it got for the home side as the Brazilians dictated terms using the flanks to attack and create problems.
On eight minutes Mabhuti Khenyeza found some space inside the area and fired a low shot goalwards, but Mpontshane made a good fingertip save diving down to his right.
Then in the 21st minute some poor officiating by the linesmen robbed Sundowns of the opening goal.
Matty Pattison whipped in a free-kick that found the head of Mushekwi, but his “goal” was wrongly adjudged to have been offside.
The second half saw the same tale as the first half unfolded as Sundowns laid siege on the Stars goal, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Katlego Mphela should have scored in the 70th minute when Elias Pelembe put him in some space with a fine ball into the 18-yard area, but the striker skied his shot from about 10 yards out.
Finally, in the 80th minute all Sundowns’ hard work paid off when Mushekwi handed them the lead they so thoroughly deserved.
That is the way the game ended as Sundowns deserved their win and a place in the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout competition. —KickOff