Telkom Knockout Cup: Supersport United 3 Moroka Swallows 1
Supersport United beat Moroka Swallows 3-1 after extra-time in the quarter- final of the Telkom Knockout Cup at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday afternoon.
The poor attendance in Pretoria had to wait for the second-half to see the first goal of the match that came by Supersport United substitute Bradly Gobler after the hour-mark before Edward Manqele equalised for the Dube Birds of Soweto shortly after.
Both teams could not unlock each other’s defence for the remainder of the second-half as Nigerian goalkeeper Greig Etafia produced some excellent saves to keep his side in the game. The match needed extra-time to separate both sides. Supersport United scored in each half of the extra 30 minutes through Thuso Phala and Geroge Maluleke to book their place in the semi of the cup.
Moroka Swallows were hit by an injury setback as early as the 10th minute when their captain Lefa Tsutsulupa was stretchered off the pitch after colliding with Innocent Mdledle and he was replace by Nksoinathi Ogle and Lerato Chabangu was handed the captain’s armband.
Supersport United were pushing forward in numbers in early exchanges and they won a free-kick just outside the area after Lerato Chabangu fouled David Mathebula. Chabangu was lucky not to be sent off. The former Kaizer Chiefs man stepped-up to take the free-kick but his effort hit the wall of Swallows.
Then Larry Cohen almost put the visitors in front when he failed to poke the ball in the far post following a good delivery by Leroto Chabangu from a set-piece after 21 minutes. Supersport United were winning set-pieces in dangerous areas but they could not use them wisely.
Larry Cohen was in the thick of things again when he pounced on a loose ball in the area and fired with his left foot but Innocent Mkhabela made a slight touch to the ball and conceded a corner with nine minutes before the break.
There were no chances going to the break and both teams headed to the dressing rooms locked at 0-0.
The second half saw the home side make two early changes and brought on George Maluleke and Bradley Grobler. The first clear-cut chance of the half came in the hour-mark when Siyabonga Nomvete connected with Lerato Chabangu’s inviting cross and forced a great one-hand-save by Ronwen Williams.
Two minutes later, Supersport United were ahead. Substitute George Maluleke did well to beat his marker Larry Cohen and find well placed substitute Bradley Grobler who made an easy finish by slotting the ball in an empty net to put his side ahead 1-0.
But the lead didn’t last long for the home side when a poor clearance by Supersport United defender Bevan Fransman saw Edward Manqele capitalise and placed the ball in the far bottom corner of the net past onrushing Ronwen Williams and level the score, 1-1.
Both teams continued and attacked each other through the midway of the second half, and Supersport United almost took the lead again in the 70th minute when a defensive blunder by Swallows allowed Sameegh Doutie to race to goal before finding Brandly Gobler in the edge of the area who shot wide of an empty net.
Then another goal looked to be coming for Matsatsantsa a Pitori when George Maluleke beat the offside trap on the left hand flank and found unmarked Innocent Mkhabale in the area but the midfielder’s low shot was well saved by fully stretched Greg Etafia with only 15 minutes to play.
Edward Manqele was denied a brace by Ronwen Willians in the 80th minute when the former Mamelodi Sundowns man shot straight at the young goalkeeper.
Then Greg Etafia had to be alert again at the other end when he got a finger tip to Thuso Phala’s shot that clipped the outside of the post before going out for a corner two minutes from time as the teams prepared for another 30 minutes of extra time to try and decide the winner of the tie.
Extra time started in style when Supersport United won a free-kick in the edge of the area just three minutes in. George Maluleke stepped up and lobbed the ball over the wall of Swallows but Greg Etadia turned the ball over the bar as the Nigerian looked to be the differencemaker between the two teams.
The visitors also got their chance after 12 minutes of extra-time when Siyabonga Nomvete made a great run to goal after an impressive build-up by the Dube Birds but he took too long to release the ball and allowed Supersport United defence to clear the danger.
Then two minutes later the home side were in front again. Larry Cohen’s poor clearance fell to the feet of Bradly Grobler who played the ball to Thuso Phala just outside the area and the former Mamelodi Sundowns attacker unleashed a low shot that Etafia got a touch to but could not keep out to make the score 2-1.
The second stanza of extra time started with a goal just a minute in when Sameegh Doutie’s long ball from the other half found Geroge Maluleke who rounded Greg Etafia and placed the ball in an empty net to give his side an insurance goal. 3-1
The visitors looked to have been down but not out when Siyabonga Nomvete headed the ball to Edward Manqele in the box who also used his header in the process but his effort came off the post.
Matsatsantsa looked to be satisfied by the two goal lead and played defensive until the match ended with Moroka Swallows crashing out of their first cup competition this year and Supersport United become the first team to book their place in semis of TKO Cup.
Supersport United line-up: Williams, Khumalo, Moloi, Mdedle, Fransman, September, Doutie, Mkhabela, Lenjies (Maluleke 53rd), Niang (Grobler 58th), Mathebula ( Phala 80th ).
Moroka Swallows line-up: Etafia, Mungomeni, Da Costa, Cohen, Mokgothu, Mbekile, Nergatze (Obada 74th), Chabangu ( Mabalane 90 +), Tsutsulupa (Ogle 11th), Nomvethe , Manqele