Mandaza scored in extra-time to help United edge 10-man Aces.
Maritzburg United booked their place in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup after beating 10-men Mpumalanga Black Aces 2-1 after the extra-time in the last 32-of the Nedbank Cup match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday night.
Zimbabwean born striker Terrence Mandaza scored in the second-half of extra-time after Ofentse Nato cancelled out Kurt Lentjies’s opener in the first-half. It was also a sweet revenge for the Team of Choice after they were beaten by Mpumalanga Black Aces 2-1 a week ago in the league match.
Maritzburg United coach Steve Komphela made a surprise change when he gave goalkeeper Virgil Vries a rare start in the place of regular starter Shu-Aib Walters, while the visiting coach Clive Barker fielded the best possible strong line-up with Mabhudi Khanyeza and Tendai Ndoro leading the attack.
The chances were few and far between in the opening stages of the match, and the home side had to wait until the 35th minute when referee Victor Gomes awarded his ninth penalty in three games after Method Mwanjali pushed Kurt Lentjies from the back inside the area.
The former Bloemfontein Celtic Lentjies, who missed the penalty when the two sides met last week, stepped up and fired past Bafana Nhlapo from 12-yards to put his side ahead. The Team of Choice should have doubled their lead two minutes later when Thokozani Sekolong was through on goal but Bafana Nhlapo raced off his line to make a fine block to keep his side in the game.
That marvellous save by Aces ‘keeper looked have been vital as Amazayoni scored the equaliser in the stroke of half-time. Ofentse Nato converted from close range unmarked after being found with a super pass by unselfish Mbulelo Mabizela inside the area.
Maritzburg United started the better of the two sides in the second-half and they almost went ahead again when Thokozani Sekotlong forced Bafana Nhlapo into a diving save four minutes after the restart.
The visitors were reduced to 10-man with 25 minutes to play when Sandile Zuke was shown a straight red card after the midfielder was involved in an off-the-ball incident. The extra-man almost paid when Kurt Lentjies’s left-footed strike from just outside the area was parried away to safety by Bafana Nhlapo in the 84th minute.
The home side failed to score for the 25 minutes of normal time despite outnumbering Mpumalanga Black Aces, and the visitors should get a credit for holding the Team of Choice and forcing the match to extra-time.
Amazayoni almost took a surprising lead in the 5th minute of the extra 30 minutes when Clifford Mulenga’s over-head kick was blocked by Mohamed Awal. The visitors were lucky not have been reduced to nine-men when already booked Method Mwanjali clipped Bongolwethu Jayiya from behind just outside the area in the 103rd minute.
Mpumalanga Black Aces had a penalty appeal waved away in 107th minute when Clifford Mulenga looked have been hauled down in the area by his marker but Victor Gomes, who already awarded a penalty in the match to the home side, was not interested.
Four minutes later the home side finally scored and showed they have an extra-man on the field when Terrence Mandaza capitalised the defensive error by Mbulelo Mabizela, Bafana Nhlapo, and Abel Mabaso by stealing the ball inside the area and slotting it in an empty net.
Zambian international Clifford Ngobeni almost found the equaliser and sent the match to penalties when he showed some great footwork inside the area before firing against the upright in the 106th minute.
Terrence Mandaza almost killed the tie off three minutes later but his stinging shot from long range was saved by Bafanan Nhlapo as the Team of Choice joins Orlando Pirates, Golden Arrows, Witbank Spurs, Platinum Stars, Bidvest Wits, and Mamelodi Sundowns in the list of teams that have booked their place in the next round of the cup.
Maritzburg United: Vries, Matuka, Booysen (Awal69’), D. Booysen, Evans, Sekotlong (Mandaza 77’), De Jongh, Morton, Jayiya, Isaacks (Gyafi 39’), Lentjies.
Mpumalanga Black Aces: Nhlapo, Nato, mwanjali, Mabizela, Mabaso, Qalinge (Mulenga 76’), Zuke, Ngobeni, Zwane, Ndoro, Khanyeza (Okonkwo 102’).