CT City complete MTN8 semifinals lineup

Cape Town City booked their place in the semifinals of the 2018 MTN8 with a 1-0 win over Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

Keanu Cupido scored the only goal of the game on the stroke of half-time, in what was a hotly contested affair on a sunny winter's afternoon.

The game got off to a rather cagey start with the first shot in anger finally falling to Keletso Makgalwa with 13 minutes on the clock. The on-loan forward burst into a pocket of space before firing a rasping effort wide of goal.

Benni McCarthy's troops, though, found their rhythm soon after and dominated proceedings up until taking the lead on the cusp of half-time.

Siphelele Mthembu missed successive chances before the half-hour mark with the forward failing to convert Ayanda Patosi's pin-point cross before sending his lob shot over the crossbar with Richard Ofori well off his line.

Roland Putsche then guided his glancing header from Thabo Nodada's perfectly weighted cross inches wide in the 34th minute, before Cupido found the bag of the net.

The young defender guiding the ball home just short of the break after Ofori failed in his attempt to clear from a corner-kick. The Ghana international punching at fresh air instead of the ball.

Mohau Mokate almost made an immediate impact after coming off the bench after the break. The attacker burst in behind the City defence, but could only succeed in guiding his diving header wide of goal.

The Citizens then suffered a major blow as captain Thamsanqa Mkhize was forced off the field with a head injury in the 53rd minute. Craig Martin came on in his place with the winger slotting in at fullback.

Mthembu was then subbed off soon later due to injury as the venue quickly resembled that of a war zone; with the referee matching the title sponsors in dishing out yellow card after yellow card in what was a physical tussle.

Peter Leeuwenburgh was finally called into action in the 77th minute as the towering goalkeeper got down well to save a powerful shot from range.

The Team of Choice continued to push forward in search of the equaliser in the closing stages, but the Citizens defence held firm as they subsequently booked their place in the final four.

Maritzburg United (0)
Cape Town City (1) 1 (Cupido 45')

United: Ofori; Sanoka, Xulu, Shandu, Thlone, De Reuck, Ndlovu, Buchanan (Masegela 60'), Kunene (Mokate 46'), Mekoa, Makgalwa (Figareido 86').

City: Leeuwenburgh; Kouassi, Cupido, Fielies, Mkhize (Martin 53'), Putsche, Nodada, Patosi (Links 74'), Ralani, Norodien, Mthembu (Rusike 66').