SuperSport reach Nedbank Cup semis

SuperSport United advanced to the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup when they came back from a goal down to beat Maritzburg United 2-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Team of Choice opened the scoring through Cuthbert Malajila, but Matsatsantsa fought back through George Maluleka before Mogogi Gabonamong netted the winner on the stroke of halftime.

The hosts got off to a brilliant start as they opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Malajila finished with a powerful header at the near post, connecting with a pinpoint cross from Dillon Sheppard.

SuperSport had a chance to draw level three minutes later when Bradley Grobler cut the ball back towards Kermit Erasmus, but he fired his shot straight at Shu-aib Walters.

Malajila almost scored his second goal of the match in the 20th minute when he got in ahead of Ronwen Williams to flick a long ball from Ruben Cloete towards goal, but Mor Diouf was able to clear just before the line.

Gavin Hunt’s men then leveled two minutes later following a defensive error which allowed Maluleka to beat Walters with a low finish at the far post after collecting a cross from Sameegh Doutie.

Kermit Erasmus could have put the visitors ahead in the 27th minute when he was set up by Moffat Mdluli, but the SuperSport captain sent his volley wide of the far post from the edge of the penalty area.

Four minutes later Rheece Evans beat his marker on the right before cutting the ball back for Delron Buckley, but he saw his shot tipped wide by Ronwen Williams at the near post.

Heinrich Isaacks should have restored the home side’s lead in the 37th minute when a cross from Sheppard found him unmarked at the inside the box, but the Namibian international dragged his shot wide of the target.

Ernst Middendorp’s side were dealt a blow in the 45th minute when Evans was given his marching orders for his second bookable offence following a foul on Erasmus.

From the resulting freekick, Erasmus picked out Gabonamong inside the box, who headed past Walters to put his side 2-1 up at halftime.

Despite playing with a man less, Maritzburg performed with determination in the second half but were unable to play the right passes in the final third to create clear openings.

SuperSport United substitute Thabiso Nkoana had two good chances to extend his side’s advantage after the hour mark, only to be denied by Walters on both occasions.

Nkoana had another great chance to settle the result in the 84th minute when he met a cross from Maluleka at the near post, but he directed his header wide as SuperSport held on for a slender win.

Maritzburg United (1) (Malajila 8’)
Supersport United (2) (Maluleka 22’, Gabonamong 45+1’)

Maritzburg: Walters, Cloete, Awal (Peterson 46’), M.Booysen, Evans, D. Booysen (Morton46’), Buckley, Hendricks, Sheppard, Isaacks (Mandaza 69’), Malajila

SuperSport: Williams, Erasmus (Zuma 76’), G. Maluleka, Doutie, Mdledle, Gyimah, Gabonamong, Kekana, Mdluli (Nkoana 61’), Diouf, Grobler (Fransman 89’)