SuperSport edge Birds on penalties
SuperSport United defeated Moroka Swallows 5-3 on penalties to move into the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night. SuperSport stay on course to defend their title, the game ended 0-0 after extra time.
Defending champions SuperSport United went into the game on the back of a midweek draw against KwaZulu-Natal outfit AmaZulu. Matsatsantsa have been disappointing so far this season and were keen to regain their form in the cup.
Swallows have also been disappointing so far this season in the league and sit in 12th place on the log, two places below Matsatsantsa. Swallows, who defeated SuperSport in the MTN8 final earlier this season, were keen to emulate that feat at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
The game started off very cagey with both teams opting to hit each other on the counter. Nergadze forced the first save off the match in the 16th minute. The Swallows midfielder’s tame strike from outside the box was easily dealt with by Williams.
A quick counter from SuperSport United after Nomvethe went close on the other end nearly ended in a goal for Matsatsantsa on the half hour mark. Sithole, though, couldn’t find the back of the net.
Both teams were clearly nervous to throw men forward in anticipation of the counter-attack, subsequently the first half ended without a goal being scored.
Nomvethe nearly opened the scoring for the Dube Birds just after the break. He broke through the defence but a good tackle from Kekana denied the veteran striker from having a shot in 47th minute.
SuperSport nearly opened the scoring in the 58th minute through Simba Sithole. He latched onto a ball in the box, the striker’s shot looked bound for the back of the net but the ball only managed to rattle the post, hit the back of the Swallows keeper and go out for a corner.
Etafia did brilliantly to deny Nkoana from opening the score for Matsatsantsa in 76th minute. Nkoana’s close range strike was brilliantly tipped on to the post by the Swallows shot-stopper to keep the scores level.
Chabangu had a chance to seal the game for Swallows in the 88th minute of the match. The Bafana Bafana midfielder lost his marker in the box but failed to head home with the goal at his mercy.
Nkoana nearly stole the show in the last minute of the match, the striker, though, couldn’t find the back of the net, and subsequently the match went into an additional 30 minutes.
In the fifth minute of extra time a free kick from the right flank found an unmarked Isaacs in the box but the defender couldn’t steer the ball past Williams. Grobler missed a great chance a minute later at the other end of the field. He danced passed a few defenders but was unable to place his shot into the net.
Both teams failed to convert chances throughout the 120 minutes, consequently the game was to be decided by penalties and United emerged 5-3 winners.
SuperSport United (0)  0 – win 5-3 on penalties (Erasmus scores, Gyimah scores, Maluleke scores, Diouf scores, Grobler scores)
Moroka Swallows (0)  0 – (Nomvethe scores, Cohen scores, Da Costa misses, Tsutsulupa scores)
SuperSport United: Williams; Moloi, Diouf, Kekana, Nkausu, Gyimah, Gabonamong, Maluleke, Mulenga (Erasmus 85’), Sithole (Nkoana 59’), Nxumalo (Grobler 71’)
Moroka Swallows: Etafia; Isaacs, Cohen, Da Costa, Lekgothoane, Chabangu (Machapa 108’), Nergadze(Kumalo 24’), Tsutsulupa, Mabalane, Mashego (Chenene 63’), Nomvethe