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Reports & Previews

Mandela Bay is the limit for Sundowns

An injury-time goal by Frédéric Nsabiyumva helped dump Mamelodi Sundowns out of the Nedbank Cup on Saturday.

SUMMARY

- Manzini opens the Chippa account
- Mahlambi keeps visitors in the contest
- Nsabiyumva hits final nail into Downs coffin

REPORT

Sundowns, who suffered the 2-1 defeat at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, might view this development as a blessing in disguise in the long-term, as they can now centre their focus on a most promising CAF Champions League campaign and the Absa Premiership title defence that now appears increasingly realistic.

The prospect of winning the treble is always an inviting one but it is also increasingly difficult to ignore the demands that have been placed on Pitso Mosimane's charges. If there was one tournament to give up in a campaign, this would have been it.

Rhulani Manzini and Nsabiyumva made that decision easier on Saturday.

Manzini, in partnership with Kurt Lentjies, snipped blood early on in this fixture and boy did they pounce. Sundowns found themselves trailing after just three minutes on the paddock.

At the outset of this match, Chippa United attacked like a pack of rabid dogs and were handsomely rewarded for their efforts. If ever there was a way to beat Sundowns, applying early pressure would be it.

Manzini curled his goal in from a beautiful set piece. Denis Onyango had no chance.

For the next 30 minutes, it started to feel like Chippa would be able to do enough on Saturday, but reality struck shortly before the interval when Phakamani Mahlambi equalised for the home team.

The second Chippa goal was also from a set piece situation, as Nsabiyumva's head found a last-minute corner.

For the ardent football fan, the result was perhaps a tremendous pity, after Sundowns scored one of the most delicious goals you will see in local football.

None other than Gaston Sirino tapped one over the Chippa defence, before Mahlambi slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Alas, such is life.