NGUBENI HERO AS AMATUKS LIFT INAUGURAL MDC


The University Of Pretoria Football Club reserve team beat Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 on penalties after the two teams drew 2-2 in regulation time plus extra time. Lebogang Ngubeni pulled off some fine saves to win AmaTuks the tournament and win himself the man of the match award.

AmaTuks were quickest out of the blocks and exerted early pressure on Sundowns. With only ten minutes on the clock AmaTuks won a free kick five yards outside the penalty box, Katjijere chipped the ball over the defence to find Mfulwane but his powerful header went wide of goal. AmaTuks kept surgin forward and in the 13th minute Mfulwane connected with a cross from Nzimande to open the scoring for AmaTuks. Sundowns searched for an early reply when in the 14th minute they found a way past the Tuks defence and Ntlaba only had the keeper to beat but Ngubeni made a reflex save to his left and parried the ball out for a corner. 

Sundowns levelled matters when in the 19th minute they won a free kick to the left of Ngubeni's goals and Evans rose the highest to connect with the ball and despite a deflection off his thigh Ngubeni could do nothing to stop the ball from sneaking over the goalline at the foot of the upright.

The score remained 1-1 going into the half time break.

The second half of the match was a very tight affair, charactarised by strong challenges and missed opportunities. Mathosi failed to capitalise when after rounding the keeper he could not direct his pass into the open net. On the other end Hlatshwayo tripped over himself when he was supposed to tap the ball into the unguarded AmaTuks net at the far post and the match ended at 1-1.

Sundowns opened the scoring in extra time when Ramagalela beat the offside trap down the centre of defence and slotted the ball past Ngubeni to give Sundowns the lead for the first time in the match. They kept possession and took the 2-1 lead going into the half time break of extra time.

When the second half of extra time resumed AmaTuks threw everything forward in search of the equaliser and the pressure paid off as the referee awarded them a penalty for a handball. Ngcobo stepped up and scored the equaliser and the match ended 2-2. 

During the penalty shootout, Sundowns missed two penalties while the hero of the day and man of the match Lebogang Ngubeni saved two penalties. Lebogang Mokoena scored the penalty for Sundowns while Botshelo Mfulwane and Ronald Katjijere scored the two AmaTuks penalties to give them the 2-1 win. 

"Right now I thank my lucky stars; the odds were against us from the very beginning and no one could have ever thought that we would be the ones lifting this trophy. We were in a very tough group, and I personally lost hope in the weekend that we lost to SuperSport and Polokwane City when we hosted the games at Tuks. We had to buldoze our way past the big boys to get this far. I am very proud of the boys, they have had an incredible self belief since we qualified for the quarter final and despite beating the big teams they remained grounded coming into this final. Now they get to go to Europe and experience football on a whole other level and they have themselves to thank for that;" said head coach Selaotse Mosala.





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