A late Katlego Mashego penalty saw Mamelodi Sundowns breathe a sigh of relief and book a place in the next round of the African Champions League after a 2-0 victory over Zimbabwe side Chicken Inn on Saturday.
The win gave the Premier Soccer League team a 2-1 aggregate success after it had looked as though they would need to rely on the lottery of a penalty shoot-out to get past the Zimbabwe champions.
Wayne Arendse had brought them to parity in the tie with a first-half goal, but they battled to find a winner until Mashego caressed home the spot kick in injury time to set up a meeting with AC Leopards of Congo in the next stage.
Sundowns created a number of openings before they scored the first goal.
Khama Billiat was inches wide with an excellent strike from range, before his cross found the head of Hlompho Kekana, who steered the ball into the hands of visiting goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze.
Billiat did finally turn provider when his free kick was touched home by Arendse on 35 minutes.
The visitors almost gained a crucial away goal when first Edmore Chirambandare forced a fine save from Sundowns keeper Dennis Onyango, and then ex-University of Pretoria midfielder Obadiah Tarumbwa struck an upright.
Billiat was left cursing too when he struck the upright, before Arendse’s header was cleared off the line.
But the decisive moment in the tie came in the first minute of injury time when Billiat glided into the area and was brought down by Bernard Passmore for a Sundowns penalty.
Mashego, only recently on the field, took the responsibility and netted to hand Sundowns victory on aggregate.