MAMELODI Sundowns and Moroka Swallows have drawn 3-3 in a pulsating MTN8 semifinal first leg tie at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Goals by Felix Obada, Ashraf Hendricks and Bennet Chenene for Swallows while Sundowns netted through Teko Modise (penalty), Hlompho Kekana and Edward Manqele.
But truth be told, Sundowns also missed some fantastic scoring chances throughout the game, Manqele with a header and Thami Sangweni late in the game. So they will feel as if they let this one slip.
Swallows were first to strike in the sixth minute. Lerato Chabangu used his chest to stop a goal attempt on the goal line and pushed the ball to his goalkeeper Greg Etafia. Although it looked at first like he may have used his arm, replays showed he was in the right.
Etafia then pumped the ball forward and Swallows opened the scoring. Chenene did very well to draw his marker and wait patiently to find Obada who covered lots of ground to get himself up the field and into a scoring position.
Obada took his time and placed his low shot into the corner of goal, showing great composure.
Two minutes later Swallows grabbed a second goal when a deep Chabangu corner kick was met with a powerful header by Ashraf Hendricks.
The ball went straight into the ground and looped towards the far post and snuck into the net. Nomvethe had made a brave attempt to jump and get a flick header on the ball, which put off the defenders.
Replays showed that while Nomvethe jumped really high, he just missed the ball and it was awarded to Hendricks.
Sundowns were soon back in the game when they scored from a Teko Modise penalty, but at his second attempt.
Modise was ordered to retake his initial spot kick, which Etafia saved to his right, but was penalised for moving off his line too early.
But Modise went the same way again and this time drilled his penalty home with much more power to bring Sundowns back into the tie.
In the 39th minute, Etafia flapped at a Tebogo Langerman cross and the ball found Modise, but as he shot at goal he slipped and fell backwards, which saw his attempt fly way over the bar.
After the break Sundowns were first to threaten when Pelembe crossed to Manqele, unmarked at the far post, but his downward header bounced into the hard surface and went over the crossbar, when it seemed easier to score than miss.
Then Method Mwanjale hit the upright with a low drive after a quickly taken short free kick.
In the 64th minute Sundowns found the equaliser when Hlompho Kekana pounced on a loose ball and side-footed a volley past Etafia, a fantastic finish.
But Chabangu and Chenene created a third goal for Swallows, in the 75th minute, when Chabangu spotted Chenene’s run and slipped through
Then Sundowns equalised ten minutes later, showing what an exciting match this has been, and what a goal it was.
Edward Manqele took the ball on left side of the danger area and with a man on his back, he swivelled towards goal and blasted a left footed shot past Etafia and into the roof of the net from a very tight angle.
Thami Sangweni came close with a shot across goal in the dying moments.
Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 3 (Modise 17’ pen Kekana 64’ Manqele 85’)
Moroka Swallows (2) 3 (Obada 6’ Hendricks 8’ Chenene 75’)
Sundowns: Sandilands; Mwanjale, Mabaso, Nyandoro (Daniels 84’), Masenamela; Sangweni, Kekana (Nyatama 77’); Pelembe, Modise, Langerman (Laffor 82’); Manqele
Swallows: Etafia; Mapemba, Hendricks, Nergadze, Lekgothoane; Sibaya; Obada, Tsutsulupa, Chabangu (Machapa 79’), Chenene; Nomvethe (Maleka 72’)-Backpage TXT