Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has praised Lyle Lakay and Keletso Makgalwa, who both scored after coming in as subs in the Nedbank cup semifinal clash against Bidvest Wits on Saturday.
The Tshwane giants triumphed 3-2 at Orlando Stadium to book a spot in the final against Bloemfontein Celtic.
Subs help Mamelodi Sundowns overcome Wits
Sundowns went into the breaking leading 1-0, after defender Ricardo Nascimento put them ahead from the penalty spot.
Wits fought back through Terrence Dzvukamanja, whose solo effort drew Wits level.
With five substitutes allowed during the course of the game, Mosimane hauled off the likes of Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Sphelele Mkhulise, with Lakay and Makgalwa among those brought on.
Makgalwa was quickly involved as he restored the Brazilians’ lead after a howler from Wits keeper, Brighton Mhlongo.
Dzvukamanja restored parity once more, and the game looked set to head to extra time.
Crucial league fixture on the horizon
This was before a stunning injury-time free-kick from Lakay, which curled past the wall into the bottom-left corner to make it 3-2.
Mosimane lauded the duo, who stepped up in place of the regulars likely to be needed in the midweek league clash against Orlando Pirates.
“You know we needed the super-subs and it’s a lesson to everybody to say, you need the depth to continue on this thing,” the Sundowns mentor told the media after the game.
“So, we are saving them (Vilakazi and Zwane) for the game on Tuesday, and I told the guys if they think this is stress, the serious stress is coming on Tuesday, but at least we are in the final. That’s what is important for us, the team fought, and yeah it’s a good spirit.
“But you can see we are not the same, we don’t have the flow, we don’t play as good as we always play, but it’s a cup match, and it’s football under COVID-19.
“After not playing football for four months and we score three goals – I think that’s the positive side of it.”
Mamelodi Sundowns face Orlando Pirates in their makeshift home, Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday night, with the match kicking off at 18:00.