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Bad boy Chabangu comes good in cup final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 May 2008

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Bad boy Lerato Chabangu came good with a superb goal as Mamelodi Sundowns snatched a 1-0 win over Mpumalanga Black Aces in the South African Cup final Saturday.

Second division Aces contained expensively assembled Sundowns for 88 minutes until a weak headed clearance by official man-of-the-match Thabang Mooi was volleyed past goalkeeper Michael Babale by Chabangu.

The young midfielder who is part of the South Africa squad for a 2010 World Cup qualifier in Nigeria next Sunday was arrested twice recently after breaking the speed limit under the influence of alcohol.

His goal was just reward for constant pressure from a club labelled the 'Chelsea' of Africa as they are bankrolled by billionaire mining magnate Patrice Motsepe.

However, even Sundowns supporters in the large crowd at sunny but chilly Johannesburg Stadium would not have begrudged Aces from the eastern mining town of Witbank 30 minutes extra time.

Mpumalanga came closest to breaking the deadlock in a cagey first half when veteran Zimbabwean Edelbert Dinha unleashed a close range shot that veteran goalkeeper Brian Baloyi pushed away with his legs.

Gordon Gilbert and Kabamba Musasa came close to putting Aces ahead in the second half before Sundowns took over and Babale made a superb one-hand save to prevent a Peter Ndlovu free kick sneaking in.

Babale, one of three former Democratic Republic of Congo internationals playing for Aces, stopped Surprise Moriri with an acrobatic parry before rising Sundowns pressure told in a dramatic finish.

Sundowns collected six million rand (about 800,000 dollars), the third biggest club prize on offer in the continent after the South African championship and African Champions League.

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