Sundowns claim Telkom KO triumph

Sundowns claim Telkom KO triumph
Mauricio Affonso of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates goal during the 2019 Telkom Knockout final match between Maritzburg United and Mamelodi Sundowns at Moses Mabhida Stadium Durban, on 14 December 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Helder Ribiero

Saturday Dec 14, 2019. 20:12

Mamelodi Sundowns have been crowned 2019 Telkom Knockout champions after they defeated Maritzburg United 2-1 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

A brace from Uruguayan striker Mauricio Affonso sealed a fourth League Cup title and a first since 2015 for the Brazilians, while the Team of Choice were left disappointed in their TKO final debut despite taking the lead through Judas Moseamedi late in the first half.

Maritzburg missed out on a great chance in the early minutes when a loose ball resulting from a collision between Sundowns’ Mosa Lebusa and Denis Onyango fell kindly for Daylon Claasen, but the midfielder struck his effort wide of a virtually open goal.

The match then reverted to what one would expect of a cup final, as both teams went into their shell somewhat and genuine scoring chances were hard to come by as a result.

‘Downs gradually asserted control of possession as the game wore on, and they were unlucky to be denied a penalty just after the half-hour mark when Thapelo Morena was clumsily brought down in the 18-yard area.

Just when Sundowns appeared to be turning the screw, Maritzburg broke up the other end and claimed the opener in the 40th minute.

A long ball was allowed to bounce all the way through to the ‘Downs penalty area, but before either Lebusa or Onyango could deal with it, the speedy Moseamedi stole in to poke the ball beyond the goalkeeper’s reach and give the Team of Choice a 1-0 lead.

Maritzburg held their lead up to half time and for nine minutes of the second stanza before Sundowns hit back: Gaston Sirino’s cross was headed home by compatriot Mauricio Affonso, who just got ahead of United goalkeeper Richard Ofori to make it 1-1.

Affonso completed the turnaround in favour of the Brazilians by putting them 2-1 up in the 74th minute. The striker again demonstrated his aerial prowess, heading home from a corner kick with an effort which gave Ofori no chance of a save.

United created a fine chance to equalise with five minutes of regulation time to play when Kwanda Mngonyama played in Bandile Shandu, but Onyango did well to come quickly off his line and cut down the attacker’s hopes of a goal.

The KwaZulu-Natal team was left angered in injury time when Moseamedi netted with a stooping header from close range, but his goal was controversially ruled out for offside in what appeared to be a debatable decision.

Maritzburg United (1) 1 (Moseamedi 40’)

Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 2 (Affonso 54’ 74’)

Maritzburg: Ofori, Morgan, Allie, De Reuck, Mngonyama, Kunene, Buchanan, Claasen (Mekoa 69’), Shandu (Augusto 85’), Timm (Kutumela 79’), Moseamedi

Sundowns: Onyango, Morena, Madisha, Lebusa, Langerman, Mkhulise (Ngcongca 87’), Kekana, Jali, Zwane, Affonso (Makgalwa 85’), Sirino

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