ALEXANDRA -– Real Sundowns and Alex Mates will clash in the final of the Alex Masters Soccer League’s Map Games 2019 masters final.
Fireworks are expected in the final of the Maimane Alfred Phiri Games (Map Games) of the Alex Masters Soccer League (AMSL) when defending champions Real Sundowns collide with their nemesis, Alex Mates.
This follows the qualification of the two giants of the AMSL social football league when they sent their rivals packing in the hard-fought semi-finals at the Rotary Grounds next to KwaMadala Hostel in 6th Avenue in what is known as the Beirut section of the township.
Alex Mates disposed of hard running Maruma FC 1–0 in a thrilling seesaw match that failed to produce more goals due to the solid defensive walls of the two outfits.
Sundowns came from a goal down to beat a gritty Cameroon FC 4–3.
This set the stage for an epic final which will be played at the iconic Alexandra Stadium on 21 July, along with the final of the seniors which carries a purse of more than R190 000 for the winners of the competition.
The opening goal of the Sundowns-Cameroon match was scored as early as in the second minute of the game when Cameroon’s Hlanganani Buthelezi’s boot found the back of the net. Buthelezi’s goal was more of the keeper’s doing as the ball leaked from his hands and in-between his legs into the back of the net.
Sundowns’ Sandile Zungu missed two glorious opportunities to draw level and so did leading marksman, Peter Nkwana when he failed to connect with the ball that was rolling past the goalmouth.
It was in the 18th minute that Nkwana finally found the back of the net for Sundowns from a pass by Jabu ‘Shortman’ Nkosi, and it was game on for the two sides in search of what could be the tie-breaker and possibly the winner.
Cameroon’s Irvin Nkosi could have put his team in the lead but failed to connect with a ball sliding past the goalmouth. Zungu was then sacrificed for the man of the moment, Maimane Phiri, to play in his own tournament.
Soon after the introduction of Phiri, the shortest man on the pitch for Sundowns and better known as Shortman, found the back of the net to put his side 2–1 up over Cameroon as the teams took the halftime break.
When play resumed, the game seesawed from one end to the other, and Nkwana managed to grab his brace with a thunderous shot. Immediately after that, Shortman grabbed his brace too to give Sundowns a 4–1 lead.
But that comfort was short-lived as Cameroon skipper Nkosi got his team’s second goal in the dying minutes of the game which was quickly followed by Cameroon’s third from the boot of Moses ‘Skhumba’ Maloka.
Sundowns were saved by the final whistle as they marched into the final with a 4–3 scoreline.