Downs win derby to reach MTN8 semis

Mamelodi Sundowns booked their place in the 2016 MTN8 semifinals with a 3-1 win over Tshwane rivals SuperSport United at Loftus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Wayne Arendse, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Khama Billiat on the score-sheet for the Brazilians with Kingston Nkhatha finding the back of the net for Matsatsantsa.

The game kicked-off on time despite what seemed to be pre-match mind games - which resulted in some talk of the game being postponed - with both teams warming up on the same side of the pitch.

But, the show had to go on and Matsatsantsa emerged from the tunnel fired up with Dean Furman forcing Denis Onyango into a good save in the seventh minute. The Uganda Cranes number one getting down well to his right to deny the Bafana Bafana midfielder.

With all that was happening prior to kick-off, it was no surprise that tempers flared from the onset with both Morgan Gould and Tiyani Mabunda booked early on - a scuffle between Onyango and Bradley Grobler also caught the eye.

Sundowns, though, opened the scoring against the run of play in the 18th minute. After SuperSport failed to clear their lines from a corner-kick, Arendse pounced to hammer home from close range - the second successful goal Matsatsantsa conceded from a set-piece.

The Brazilians - boasting new signing Vilakazi in their starting eleven - looked dangerous on every attack and went close to a second with Khama Billiat setting up Keagan Dolly, who could only manage to scuff his effort wide of goal on 35 minutes.

With Leonardo Castro forced off the field on a stretcher, SuperSport also made a first-half change as Nkhatha made his way onto the pitch for Bradley Grobler in what was deemed a tactical change.

The burly forward made an instant impact, nodding home on the cusp of half-time, but three minutes after emerging from the bench.

The Zimbabwe international had a chance to put Matsatsantsa a goal up at the break a few moments later, but his first touch let him down as Onyango rushed off his line to gather.

For 20 minutes in the second stanza the game looked sure to be heading for extra-time, but Sundowns had other plans and turned on the style - at will Pitso Mosimane men can change gear as proven over the past 12 months.

After Vilakazi was brilliantly denied by Ronwen Williams from close range, the former Bidvest Wits ace dusted himself off - getting his head onto a fierce Hlompho Kekana shot to restore the Brazilians lead in the 74th minute.

Billiat made sure of the result five minutes later - brilliant play by Percy Tau and Vilakazi setting up the reigning PSL Footballer of the Season who stepped in-field before curling the ball past Ronwen Williams to seal the club's passage to the next round.

Sundowns have won their last seven clashes against Matsatsantsa and join Cape Town City FC, Chippa United and Bidvest Wits in the final four.

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 3 (Arendse 18' Vilakazi 74' Billiat 79')
SuperSport United (1) 1 (Nkhatha 45')

Sundowns: Onyango; Zwane, Nascimento, Arendse, Langerman - Kekana, Mabunda (Mohomi 70') - Vilakazi, Dolly, Billiat - Castro (Tau 25')

United: Williams; Bhasera, Gould, Daniels, Boxall - Morton (Alexander 60'), Furman - Phala (Mnyamane 83'), Letsholonyane - Grobler (Nkhatha 42'), Brockie