A superb performance from goalkeeper Denis Onyango and goals from Leonardo Castro, Thabo Nthethe and Hlompho Kekana handed Mamelodi Sundowns a 3-1 victory over Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday.
The Brazilians were worthy winners on the night, claiming their first League Cup trophy since 1999, while the Amakhosi suffered a second successive cup final defeat this season, having already been beaten by Ajax Cape Town in the MTN8.
The highly anticipated clash between the two South African giants started with a high tempo, with Amakhosi aiming to capitalise early as they attacked the Brazilians.
However, in fifth minute, Pitso Mosimane’s men took the lead against the run of play with their first attack when Tebogo Langerman picked out Khama Billiat on the far right and the Zimbabwean didn’t delay his pass to set up Castro, who easily headed home, beating goalkeeper Brillliant Khuzwayo.
It was 1-0 at the interval with Sundowns enjoying the lead, and the Tshwane giants pushed forward with Keagan Dolly and Themba Zwane combining beautifully, but the latter saw his shot saved by Khuzwayo.
However, in the 51st minute, defender and captain Thabo Nthethe made it 2-0 following Teko Modise’s corner kick.
Eleven minutes later, Chiefs were awarded a penalty after substitute Bernard Parker was fouled by Nthethe, but Denis Onyango denied Tshabalala from the spot kick.
With 16 minutes remaining on the clock, Onyango produced another brilliant penalty save when he denied Camaldine Abraw from the spot after Nthethe was adjudged to have handled the ball.
In the 81st minute, Sundowns made it 3-0 through Hlompho Kekana thanks to a beautiful interchange with midfield general Modise.
In injury time, Camaldine Abraw pulled one back for Amakhosi when he headed home Tshabalala’s cross.
Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 3 (Castro 5’, Nthethe 51’, Kekana 81’)
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Abraw 90+3’)
Sundowns: Onyango, Mbekile, Nthethe, Arendse, Langerman, Billiat, Zungu, Kekana, Zwane (Ngele 90+2’), Dolly (Laffor 87’), Castro (Modise 46’)
Chiefs: Khuzwayo, Gaxa, Gordinho, Gould, Masilela, Katsande, Baloyi (Parker 53’), Tshabalala, Ekstein (Letsholonyane 53’), Lebese, Manqele (Abraw 57’)