Pelembe takes the Brazilians to the Q-Finals
Elias Pelembe scored in extra-time to break University of Pretoria hearts as Mamelodi Sundowns advanced in the Telkom Knockout with a 2-1 win at Loftus Versfeld.
Geofrey Massa cancelled out Tebogo Langerman’s first half opener to send the teams into extra-time, leaving Pelembe to apply the finishing touches in a thrilling first round encounter in Pretoria.
Tuks were quickly put on the back foot as Sundowns applied heaps of pressure on their cross-town rivals. Goalkeeper Washington Arubi was kept busy with a host of saves before the half-hour mark.
Arubi proved to be the only man able to thwart the home side. He was often the last line of defence against a Sundowns team looking threatening with every touch of the ball. But Sundowns would not be kept out for long, Langerman sending the home side ahead after 36 minutes with a seemingly wayward shot from distance.
The effort, however, took a nasty touch off Themba Zwane, which caught the Zimbabwean goalkeeper off-guard, which was enough to put the Brazilians ahead before half-time.
Tuks had a much more positive start to the second half and managed to keep Sundowns on the back foot. Half-time replacement, Geofrey Massa, looked lively from the moment he got onto the field. Sundowns’ home supporters were silenced in the 73rd minute as the Ugandan international drew level with a left-footed volley.
Poor defending in the area allowed the striker to put his foot through the ball and thunder home past Kennedy Mweene, who hardly had a save to make up to that point. The game settled down as the clock wound down and soon referee Robert Smith signalled the end of 90 minutes, meaning extra-time.
Tuks were hoping to keep Sundowns at bay for as long as possible, but eight minutes into extra-time, Pelembe grabbed the winner with a superb cut and turn, before slotting home his second goal of the season.