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Uruguayan Sirino nets twice as Sundowns squeeze into semi-finals

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Johannesburg (AFP)

Uruguayan Gaston Sirino was the two-goal star for Mamelodi Sundowns as they crept into the South African League Cup semi-finals on Sunday with a penalty shootout win at Chippa United.

The 2016 CAF Champions League winners won 4-3 on penalties in Port Elizabeth after a 2-2 quarter-final draw following extra time with Sirino levelling twice during regular time.

His goal haul from two League Cup matches is a chart-topping four having scored twice in the 5-0 first round demolition of AmaZulu.

Sundowns visit Durban club Golden Arrows in the last four on November 23 or 24 while Kaizer Chiefs, who won an epic cup tie against arch rivals Orlando Pirates Saturday, host Maritzburg United.

It was a weekend of tight tussles with Chiefs and Maritzburg also winning penalty shootouts while a lone goal earned Arrows a surprise victory over cup specialists SuperSport United.

Chippa, bottom of the league without a victory in nine matches, were ahead within 13 minutes when Nigerian Augustine Kwem beat Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango from close range.

Slightly built Sirino converted a penalty on 51 minutes only for Chippa to regain the lead with a superb looping goal from Silas Maziya seven minutes later.

A blunder by Cameroonian goalkeeper and Chippa captain Patrick Tignyemb gifted Sundowns a second equaliser after 70 minutes as he spilled a cross and Sirino tapped into the net.

Both sides wasted chances to win the pulsating last-eight clash in the remainder of regular time and during extra time, when Chippa had Tercious Malepe red-carded.

Sundowns converted four consecutive penalties thanks to the accuracy of Lyle Lakay, Motjeka Madisha, Uruguayan Mauricio Affonso and Thapelo Morena.

William Twala had a poor first Chippa spot-kick saved, then Kurt Lentjies, Rhulani Manzini and Burundian Frederic Nsabiyumva scored before Lehlogonolo Masalesa missed to seal the fate of his team.

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