SuperSport United advanced to the Telkom Knockout quarter-final after beating Polokwane City 6-5 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in extra time at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
Jozef Vukusic’s men entered this match in fine form as they are unbeaten in their last six matches in the league, which includes four wins and one draw.
Meanwhile, Kaitano Tembo’s chargers have only picked up one victory in their last five encounters in all competitions.
The last time the two side’s met they were forced to settle for a point each after playing to a 1-1 in the Absa Premiership last month.
The game off got to a slow start with both side’s trying to find their rhythm in the opening exchanges of the match.
Rise and Shine produced the first opportunity of the game when City captain Jabu Maluleke tested Ronwen Williams with his free-kick early on, but the Matsatsantsa keeper was up for the challenge.
Both side’s grew into the game after 15 minutes but neither side were able to break the deadlock.
James Keene came close to handing his side the lead after 37 minutes when he latched on to a cross from Aubrey Modiba before firing his volley towards goal, but City keeper Harold Ndlovu produced a stunning save to deny his effort from close range.
The game went into the half time interval with the scoreline locked at 0-0.
SuperSport came out the better side in the second half and nearly took the lead in the 50th minute when Modiba looked to be through on goal, but his shot flew wide of the mark.
However, the visitors eventually broke the deadlock in the 77th minute when Thuso Phala showed great strength to hold off the defender and find the back of the net from close range.
Keene should have made it 2-0 two minutes later, but the SuperSport striker steered his header wide of the target.
The home side pressed forward in search of an equalising goal and were rewarded in stoppage time when Edgar Manaka head the ball home from a resulting corner.
Both side’s were unable to to find the winning goal of 90 minutes of play as the game was forced into extra time with the scoreline locked at 1-1 after the final whistle.
SuperSport dominated proceeding in extra time and saw more possession of the ball, but were unable to carve out any clear cut chances in the final third.
However, the encounter had to be settled in a penalty shoot-out, which SuperSport won 6-5 to book their place in the last eight of the competition.
Here’s how both teams lined up:
Polokwane City XI: Ndlovu, Mvelase, Hlongwane, Nkili, Mbonani, Seabi , Mngomezulu, Manaka, Anas. Maluleke, Booi
Subs: Phali, Sikhosana, Miya, Musona, Tlolane, Baloyi, Phiri
SuperSport United XI: Williams, Daniels, Khumalo, Bhasera, Kekana, Ntshangase, Mokoena, Letsholonyane, Modiba, Lungu, Keene
Subs: Pule, Boateng, Nhlapo, Gould, Phala, Mahlatse, Le Roux