Cape Town City 1-1 Mamelodi Sundowns (2-3 pens): Onyango-inspired Brazilians end 14-year wait for MTN8 title
Denis Onyango, Mamelodi Sundowns, October 2021
The former Uganda captain was the hero for Masandawana as he made sublime saves throughout the game and during the shootout 

Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned 2021 MTN8 champions after securing a 3-2 win over Cape Town City on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

The Citizens, who played the majority of the second-half of extra-time with 10 players after Idumba Fasika's dismissal, showed character as they fought back and levelled matters through Fagrie Lakay after Thapelo Morena had opened the scoring, but Masandawana went on to win the game on penalties. 

2017 MTN8 title-winning coach Eric Tinkler had masterminded City's 4-3 win over Lamontville Golden Arrows in a PSL game last weekend and he named an unchanged team with Lakay leading the attack as a lone striker.

On the other hand, Morena was recalled to the Sundowns starting line-up as co-head coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena made one change to the team which faced and defeated DR Congo's AS Maniema Union 2-0 in the Caf Champions League game last weekend.

City were looking to attack the Sundowns defence with speed and they should have taken an early lead when Lakay burst into the Masandawana box, before playing a cut-back pass for Mduduzi Mdantsane, whose first-time shot went wide of the target. 

Masandawana grew into the game and they began pressing their opponents which saw Taariq Fielies lose possession to Thabiso Kutumela, who then set up Morena and the speedy player tapped the ball home to hand Sundowns a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute.

The Citizens nearly responded with a goal after a quick move which cut open the Tshwane giants' defence, but keeper Denis Onyango pulled off a fantastic save to deny Craig Martin from close range and Mdantsane headed over the crossbar from the rebound.

The last chance of the first-half fell for an unmarked Thamsanqa Mkhize in the blind spot, but the City captain placed his attempt over the crossbar and the score was 1-0 to Sundowns during the half-time break in Durban. 

Both teams launched attacks after the restart with the Citizens keen to restore parity and Onyango produced a great diving save to deny Ralani and Coetzee's thunderbolt was blocked by keeper Hugo Marques at the other end.

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Downs then took full control of the game and Themba Zwane's thunderous shot hit the crossbar before Marques made two fine low saves to deny both Kermit Erasmus and Morena. Tinkler reacted by introducing Mpho Makola and Terrence Mashego.

Parity was restored in the 75th minute as Ralani played a defence-splitting pass for Lakay, who made no mistake as he beat Onyango with a hard and low shot to make it 1-1 and at this point, Sundowns were ruing not converting their chances.

City then pushed for the winning goal after leveling matters, but Sundowns stood firm at the back, and the match ended in a 1-1 draw in regulation time with extra time following after an enthralling 90 minutes.

The Citizens were reduced to 10 players after Fasika was shown a red card having collected his second yellow card of the game following a foul on Andile Jali in the 108th minute. Ultimately, the match ended in a 1-1 draw and a penalty shootout followed. 

Sundowns went on to win 3-2 on penalties thanks to Onyango's heroics as the former Uganda international made five superb saves during the shootout and Masandawana clinched the MTN8 title for the fourth time and it was also their maiden Top 8 trophy since 2007.