Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 Marumo Gallants (2-1 AET): Masandawana clinch treble with Nedbank Cup triumph
Miguel Timm, Sibusiso Sibeko, Marumo Gallants & Lebohang Maboe, Mamelodi Sundowns, May 2022
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The Tshwane giants have now lifted the South African FA Cup six times and only Orlando Pirates (eight) and Kaizer Chiefs (13) have won it more

Mamelodi Sundowns secured a 2-1 win over Marumo Gallants in extra-time of the 2022 Nedbank Cup final which was played at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday night.

Goals from Peter Shalulile and Thapelo Morena inspired Masandawana to a victory over Bahlabane Ba Ntwa who had equalised through Sede Junior Dion. It was a match which saw Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo being red-carded in the second half of extra time as Gallants were reduced to 10 players and Sundowns managed to take advantage of their superiority.  

Sundowns co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena made big calls as captain Denis Onyango, influential playmaker Themba Zwane and the in-form Aubrey Modiba were named among the substitutes. Thabiso Kutumela and Gaston Sirino kept their places in the team after scoring in Masandawana's 3-2 win over Royal AM on Monday in their final PSL game of the season.

On the other hand, coach Dan Malesela named five players who started in last year's Nedbank Cup final as Gallants (previously known as Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila) defeated Chippa United 1-0 to clinch the trophy. Bahlabane Ba Ntwa pinned their hopes of causing an upset against the reigning PSL and MTN8 champions on their influential playmaker Ndlondlo who netted the winning goal in last year's final.

Sundowns pressed Gallants up high - forcing the defending champions into giving away possession in their own half and the Brazilians fired the match's first shot on target. Andile Jali won possession and he quickly played a pass to Sirino whose fierce shot was parried away by goalkeeper Washington Arubi who was the hero as Gallants defeated Sundowns in last year's Nedbank Cup semi-finals.

The Zimbabwean goalkeeper was then beaten by Sirino's rasping shot from outside the box which sneaked into the bottom right corner after Bahlabane Ba Ntwa had given away possession in their own half. However, match referee Masixole Bambiso blew his whistle for a foul - disallowing the goal as he felt that Shalulile had brought down Ndlondlo in the build-up to Sirino scoring.

The Tshwane giants kept probing with Shalulile's shot being blocked inside the box after he had burst into the area. The 2021-22 PSL Footballer of the Season nominee looked hungry for goals and he did make it 1-0 to Sundowns when he scored from the rebound after Sirino's cross was parried into his path by Arubi - making it 30 goals in 47 matches across all competitions this term.  

However, Sundowns suffered a blow when Brian Mandela went down due to a hamstring injury and he was replaced by Mosa Lebusa. Bahlabane Ba Ntwa finished the first half the stronger of the two teams, but they failed to register a shot on target in the first half and Sundowns were in the driving seat at half-time - leading 1-0 courtesy of Shalulile's second goal of the season's Nedbank Cup.

Gallants played much better after the restart as they were able to keep possession in the Sundowns half in the opening exchanges of the second half and they finally registered their first shot on target. Ndlondlo was afforded space and time to pull the trigger from the edge of the box and he was denied by keeper Kennedy Mweene who was well-positioned to make a low save.

Bahlabane Ba Ntwa piled the pressure on Sundowns, but Celimpilo Ngema and Joseph Molangoane had shots blocked inside the box as the Brazilians defended too deep. Mngqithi and Mokwena reacted by making a double substitution - introducing Zwane and Siphesihle Mkhulise as the 12-time PSL champions looked to regain control of the match and double their lead. 

However, former Sundowns captain Malesela responded by introducing Gallants' leading goalscorer in this season's Nedbank Cup, Dion in the 73rd minute. The Ivorian striker made an immediate impact as he headed the ball home at the back post after connecting with Ndlondlo's glancing header to make it 1-1 with 15 minutes left on the clock - making it four goals in the cup competition. 

The two teams then searched for a late winning goal with Katlego Otladisa's ambitious attempt from range flying over the crossbar after Mweene was caught off his goal-line, while Shalulile missed the target from close range after running onto Jali's looped pass. The match ended in a 1-1 draw in regulation time and extra-time followed in Rustenburg. 

Masandawana saw most of the ball in extra-time as they looked to restore their lead, but they couldn't seriously test Arubi until Gallants were reduced to 10 players when Ndlondlo was shown a red card in the 111th minute. The Tshwane giants took advantage of their numerical superiority over Gallants as Zwane stepped up with fellow substitute Morena who netted from close range to seal Sundowns' 2-1 win in the last minute of extra time.

Sundowns completed the domestic treble having already won the PSL championship and MTN8 this season - emulating Orlando Pirates in the process. Sundowns and Pirates are now the only clubs to have won the treble twice in the PSL era with the Buccaneers having achieved this between 2011 and 2012.