Mamelodi Sundowns 1-2 Platinum Stars: Phala and Ng'ambi send Sundowns packing

Mamelodi Sundowns were sent crashing out of the Nedbank Cup on Sunday after Platinum Stars came from a goal behind to win 2-1 in Pretoria

Platinum Stars secured a Nedbank Cup semi-final berth after a late winner from Robert Ng’ambi sent Mamelodi Sundowns crashing out of the cup at Loftus Versveld in Pretoria.  

A lacklustre first half ended without any goals, but Teko Modise gave Sundowns the lead with less than half an hour to go in the match, after punishing a poor clearance from Platinum Stars and netting the vital opener.

Platinum Stars did not let up though and goals from Thuso Phala and Robert Ng’ambi secured an impressive comeback cup victory for the high-flying side.

Sundowns started confidently and tested Siyabonga Mpontshane early on as Edward Manqele tried his luck in the 12th minute. But the game struggled to catch alight as both sides moved the ball around at a slow pace in the early part of the first half.

Wayne Arendse failed to make contact when Teko Modise provided the defender with an accurate ball from a free-kick in the 20th minute, as the Brazilians spurned a decent opportunity to open the scoring.

Dikwena settled into a defensive pattern as Sundowns continued to trouble the visitors with their pace.

Modise was in the action once again in the 35th minute when the midfielder put the ball in the back of the net, only for the goal to be disallowed for being offside.

The first half ended goalless despite a late opportunity for Tintswalo Tshabalala who exchanged a few neat passes with his teammates to find some space to shoot but could not direct the ball goal-wards with his attempt.

Manqele surged forward early on in the second half and the striker unleashed pile-driver towards goal, but Mpontshane was able to grasp the attempt due to some good positioning.

Dikwena finally began to show attacking impetus when Gumede headed over 55 minutes in, as the visitors took control of more possession in Sundowns’ half.   

Sundowns attacking players had failed to create many opportunites in the match which led to a familiar sign of disdain from the home fans. But Teko Modise silenced the doubters when he opened the scoring after he pounced on a weak clearance in the 62nd minute and rifled home to put Sundowns 1-0 up in the tie.

Richard Henyekane almost put the Brazilians 2-0 up five minutes after Modise’s strike, but his shot crashed into the upright.

Dikwena did not falter under the pressure and their star winger Thuso Phala scored the equaliser on the 71 minute mark. Phala netted a good cross from Vuyo Mere with an accurate header, putting Platinum Stars right back into the cup tie.  

Eleazar Rodgers should have regained Sundowns lead after he got his head on a Tebogo Langerman cross, but the striker could not direct his attempt much to the disappointment of the home crowd.

Dikwena’s Robert Ng'ambi found the late winner for his side with an easy tap-in after a well-worked free-kick, securing a semi-final berth for Cavin Johnson’s charges.