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Reports & Previews

Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 Bloemfontein Celtic

Mamelodi Sundowns came from a goal down at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday to defeat Bloemfontein Celtic 3-1 and advance to the MTN8 semi-finals.

Masandawana were coming off 1-1 draw with Chippa United in midweek, while Celtic were riding high after a thumping 5-0 win over Golden Arrows.

Despite those wildly different results, Sundowns proved to be a dominant force in the first half, and were unlucky to come out of it still tied at 0-0.

The hosts thought they were in front after just eight minutes when Sibusiso Vilakazi found the back of the net after some good work in the build-up, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Midway through the first half, some enterprising play down the right from Thapelo Morena saw Sundowns earn a corner, and the resulting kick from Gaston Sirino found Hlompho Kekana, who thundered his header into the crossbar.

Despite Sundowns' dominance, Celtic nearly opened the scoring against the run of play shortly before the break when a beautiful through ball nearly found its target, but it had a bit too much on it, allowing Denis Onyango to clear the danger.

There was a half chance for the hosts minutes later when Zwane managed to keep the ball alive near the sideline, but Celtics were able to scramble and clear as it finished goalless at the break.

Twelve minutes into the second half, Celtic punished Sundowns for their inability to convert their earlier dominance into goals.

It was a free kick just outside the Sundowns six-yard box that did the damage, allowing 32-year-old veteran Ndumiso Mabena to step up and curl a beautiful shot into the top corner.

Sundowns needed an equaliser, and while they had to wait nearly 20 minutes, it did eventually come after Celtic defender Mzwanele Mahashe brought down Keletso Makgalwa inside his own box and the referee pointed to the spot.

Up stepped a grateful Zwane, who made no mistake as he rifled home the penalty to level the scores.

Sundowns had their tails up now, and it took just five minutes for them to double their tally after a long ball into the Celtic box was met by Mosa Lebusa, who headed his side into the lead.

And there was time for one more goal too, as Makgalwa completed the comeback with a superb solo effort, gliding into the box before firing a low strike into the bottom corner to send Sundowns into the MTN8 semi-finals.