Middendorp happy with qualification
Maritzburg United deserve their place in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals, coach Ernst Middendorp said after they snatched a surprise win over Moroka Swallows in their last 16 soccer clash on Saturday.
United held off the Birds for 120 minutes in miserable, wet conditions, and with the scores locked at 0-0 after extra time, the hosts bagged a 4-3 victory in the spot-kick decider at Harry Gwala Stadium.
"There were not a lot of possibilities for either side to score during the game," Middendorp said.
"We are happy to make it, even in a penalty shootout, and I think we worked hard for it."
Swallows' coach Zeca Marques praised his side, which won this season's MTN8 title, for creating opportunities in the tough conditions.
"I thought overall we played very well," Marques said.
"We were unlucky in many situations and we just couldn't find the back of the net.
"We had our chances, but we never took them, and it was decided in a penalty shootout, which is always a lottery.
"You can never predict the pressure of the moment."
Elsewhere on Saturday, an emotional SuperSport United outfit, reeling from the death of former long-time assistant coach Thomas Madigage this week, stayed composed and progressed to the next round of the cup competition.
SuperSport edged Ajax Cape Town 4-3 on penalties after the sides were level at 1-1 following 30 minutes of extra time in windy conditions at Athlone Stadium.
Hunt believed they showed glimpses of the United side that won the Premiership title in three successive seasons between 2008 and 2010.
"We played very well in difficult conditions," Hunt said.
"It was difficult, and certainly emotional, but I think we did well.
"We looked like the old SuperSport United again."
The Pretoria outfit face Wits in a league clash in Atteridgeville on Saturday, the day after Madigage's memorial service in Johannesburg.
Madigage was killed in a car accident in Burgersfort, Limpopo, on Thursday night.
"We will be there this week for him and his family, and we will do our best moving on," Hunt said.
Meanwhile, Free State Stars dumped Golden Arrows from the cup competition with a 3-1 victory in Bethlehem, and Collins Mbesuma scored a brace as title holders Orlando Pirates defeated Black Leopards 2-0 in Polokwane.
Wits had kicked off the first-round action, pulling off a shock 3-2 win over league leaders Kaizer Chiefs at Bidvest Stadium on Friday night.