Peter Shalulile bagged a brace as Mamelodi Sundowns advanced to the Nedbank Cup last 16 with a 3-2 win over Richards Bay FC on Tuesday evening.
Nedbank Cup Last 32
Result: Mamelodi Sundowns 3-2 Richards Bay FC
Date: 07 February 2023
Venue: Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena made wholesale changes from the team that started against Orlando Pirates over the weekend, as only Thapelo Morena, Sphelele Mkhulise and Peter Shalulile were the only players to keep their places.
The Brazilians pressed Richards Bay high early on and were rewarded on 11 minutes after Peter Shalulile forced his way through into the box and lobbed goalkeeper Salim Magoola.
Rulani Mokwena's charges came very close to doubling their lead just six minutes later after Sipho Mbule's well executed free-kick crashed against the upright with Magoola well-beaten.
The visitors put up a fight after that with quick counter-attacks and were awarded a penalty shortly before the half-hour mark after shot-stopper Denis Onyango collided with Sakhile Hlongwa in the box, which allowed Nkanyiso Zungu to slot home from 12 yards out to level matters.
Back on the front foot, Shalulile should have restored the lead for the hosts just before the interval after a square pass by Morena found him unmarked in the six-yard box but his shot was parried by the agile Magoola.
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Sundowns had an ideal start in the second stanza as Mosa Lebusa restored their lead within a minute after the break after he glanced home a header from Mbule's corner.
With their confidence back, Shalulile put the game to bed for Mokwena's men nine minutes later and completed his brace after he fired a low cracking shot that found the bottom corner.
The Brazilians could afford to give other players a run from the bench and changed their structure just after the hour-mark, as Andile Jali, Thabiso Kutumela and Rushine De Reuck all came in.
The fresh legs helped Sundowns rotate the ball more and Kutumela had a big chance with 15 minutes to go after he was setup clear on goal by Sifiso Ngobeni's square pass but his shot past Magoola was headed off the line by Ketha Shabalala.
The Brazilians had a scare in the last minute after Katleho Makateng reduced the deficit for Richards Bay with a long range shot that caught Onyango off his line.
However, it was too little too late for the Natal Rich Boyz, as Sundowns progressed to the round of 16.
Mamelodi Sundowns: D.Onyango, Morena, Ngobeni, Mvala, Lebusa, Mbule, Kapinga, Mkhulise, Shalulile, Ralani
Subs: Pieterse, De Reuck, Jali, Kutumela, Maema, Coetzee, Modiba, Mokoena, Mailula
Richards Bay FC: Magoola, Maphathe, Mabua, Shabalala, Nyauza, Mtolo, Barns, Zungu, Hlongwa, Mthembu, Ntsundwana.
Subs: Jacobs, Memela, Mabaso, Mbuthuma, Makateng, Majadibodu, Mhlongo, Mabuya
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