|Thuso Phala © Gallo Images
A solitary extra-time goal by Thuso Phala secured a 1-0 win for SuperSport United over Ajax Cape Town in a Telkom Knockout Round of 16 clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday evening.
The game had to be stalled for 30 minutes in added time due to extreme weather conditions, with the Urban Warriors unable to level matters on a cold night just outside the South African capital.
After what was a very uneventful start to the game, the clash threatened to spark into life just short of the half-hour mark with Ronwen Williams lucky to escape a nervy moment in goal.
Tashreeq Morris' cross from the left flank seemed rather harmless at first, but the Matsatsantsa goal-minder made an awful mess in his attempted catch with the ball slipping out of his hands, before bouncing narrowly wide of the goal.
SuperSport conjured their first chance at goal soon after with Kingston Nkhatha seeing his attempt narrowly wide in the 31st minute. The Zimbabwean forward had taken up a good position in the penalty area, but could only succeed in guiding Phala's cross wide of goal.
Ten minutes later it was the Urban Warriors turn to spur a golden chance to open the scoring on the night. A long ball forward caught Mairio Booysen off-guard with the SuperSport United defender unable clear from danger - Prince Nxumalo pounced, but slipped in his attempt to steer the ball past Williams, who gathered with ease.
The visitors ended the stanza on the front foot with Erick Chipeta's free-kick attempt forcing Williams into a save, with the teams deadlocked at the break.
The second half followed a similar pattern with both sides finding it difficult to break down the opposition's defensive line.
Clayton Daniels and Morgan Gould teamed up to great effect in the 72nd minute to spare Dean Furman's blushes. The Bafana Bafana midfielder coughed up possession in a dangerous area, but his teammates were on hand to deny Bantu Mzwakali.
Bradley Grobler tried and narrowly failed in his attempt to end the game within the 90, with the forward seeing two attempts in quick succession fly narrowly wide of Jody February's goal.
Almost as punishment for failing to score in regulation time - the rain started to bucket down at the start of extra-time. The much needed rain, though, did bring a goal with Phala opening the scoring in 92nd minute.
The former Matsatsantsa skipper's powerful shot from inside the penalty area flying into the back of the net via a deflection.
What started as heavy rain quickly turned into a something quite dangerous with the wind causing havoc - leaving the referee with little choice, but to call the players off the field.
After a half-hour break in play, the game resumed with Jeremy Brockie going closest to adding to the score - his 108th minute header tipped over the bar by a retreating February as SuperSport progressed.
SuperSport United (0) 1 (Phala 92')
Ajax Cape Town (0) 0
SuperSport United: Williams; Farmer, Booysen (Daniels 60'), Gould, Boxall - Furman, Letsholonyane - Phala, Nkhatha (Grobler 46'), Mnyamane (Morton 90') - Brockie
Ajax Cape Town: February; Lebusa, Chipeta, Coetzee, Mabaso - Isaacs, Graham (Mdabuka 78') - Morris, Mzwakali (Mayambela 90'), Mosadi - Nxumalo (Lupeta 87')