Maritzburg oust Tuks on penalties
Maritzburg United defeated University of Pretoria 4-2 on penalties (after a goalless draw from 120 minutes) to advance to the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup at Tuks Stadium on Saturday evening.
In what was a disappointing affair, the two top flight teams failed to set the match alight and each missed several good scoring chances. Tuks made more of the play and hit the woodwork, but their nerve failed them in the shootout, allowing the Team of Choice to advance.
Maritzburg had the first notable effort on goal on the 15 minute mark, with Ryan De Jongh forcing Tuks goalkeeper Washington Arubi into a decent save at his left-hand post. Five minutes later the hosts were dealt a blow when midfielder Lionel Mutizwa limped off with a hamstring strain and was replaced by Ronald Ketjijere.
The University side very nearly broke the deadlock ten minutes before halftime when Aubrey Ngoma swung in a good cross from the left and found Mame Niang – the lanky striker glanced a header toward goal but his effort went wide off the outside of the far post.
On 38 minutes United nearly got lucky when a Dillon Sheppard free kick took a wicked bounce off the turf in the penalty area and nearly beat Arubi, but the ‘keeper did enough to bat the ball away, while Rheece Evans was unable to make anything of the rebound.
The second half was a tedious affair, with both teams struggling to create scoring chances. Sheppard came close to finding the back of the net in the second stanza with a 76th minute effort that flashed just wide of the target.
Three minutes later Niang had another great chance after more good set-up play by Ngoma, but the Senegalese attacker somehow contrived to shoot wide of the near post from just a couple of metres out.
Maritzburg needed defender Mario Booysen to make a vital intervention in his own penalty area as Tuks started the first half of extra time strongly. On the 100 minute mark Niang had another great chance, but once more he failed to even test the ‘keeper.
With just three minutes of extra time left, Delron Buckley almost stole the game for the Team of Choice with a well-placed long range effort, but Arubi made an acrobatic save to tip the ball over the crossbar and send the game to penalties.
Unsurprisingly, considering the number of chances he missed during the match, Mame Niang was the first to miss a penalty and it paved the way for Maritzburg to win the shootout 4-2 when Cuthbert Malajila converted the decisive kick.
University of Pretoria 0
Maritzburg United 0 – After extra time, Maritzburg win 4-2 on penalties
U Pretoria: Arubi, Ngubane, Bishop, Shoyisa, Moussono (Radebe 97’), Mosadi (Sekotlong 80’), Selolwane, Mutizwa (Ketjijere 20’), Ngoma, Zungu, Niang
Maritzburg: Walters, Petersen, M. Booysen, Awal, Evans, De Jongh (B. Hendricks 46’), Morton, Buckley, Sheppard (Zulu 95’), Yende (Mandaza 115’), Malajila
Penalty sequence: (U Pretoria shoot first) Radebe scores 1-0, Buckley scores 1-1; Niang misses 1-1, Awal scores 1-2; Sekotlong misses 1-2, Mandaza scores 1-3; Ngoma scores 2-3, Malajila scores 2-4. Maritzburg win 4-2.