Highlands edge Polokwane to reach first-ever MTN8 final

Highlands Parks defeated Polokwane City 4-3 on penalties following a 0-0 draw on aggregate in the MTN8 Cup semifinal second-leg match at the Makhulong Stadium on Tuesday night.

As a result, the Lions of the North progressed to the final, while Rise and Shine bowed out of the tournament.

Rise and Shine contained the hosts in the opening stages of the match and they grew in confidence as the encounter progressed.

Polokwane striker Walter Musona forced Highlands Park goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni into a great diving save in the 22nd minute.

This served as a wake-up call for the Lions of the North as they took control of the match and they came close to scoring through Sphiwe Mahlangu.

The midfielder's curling cross from the right beat Polokwane keeper George Chigova in the 23rd minute, but the crossbar came to the visitors' rescue.

Chigova then produced a brilliant save to deny Highlands Park attacking midfielder Lindokuhle Mbatha just before the half-hour mark.

Polokwane then contained Highlands Park until the match referee blew the halftime whistle and the score was 0-0 at the interval.

The two teams continued to attack each other after the restart as they looked to break the deadlock.

Mokete Mogaila was introduced by Highlands Park head coach Owen Da Gama as the home side pushed for the opening goal.

Peter Shalulile and Tendai Ndoro combined well before the latter set-up Mothobi Mvala, who could not get to the ball with the Polokwane defence exposed.

The Lions of the North pushed for a late winning goal in the closing stages of the match.

However, it never came and the match ended in a 0-0 draw in regulation time and a penalty shootout followed.

Second-half substitute Mogaila proved to be the hero for Highlands Park as he converted from the spot-kick to hand his side a 4-3 win on penalties.

Highlands Park (0) 0

Polokwane (0) 0

Highlands Park won 4-3 on penalties.

Highlands Park: Ngobeni, Mokoena, Munyai, Mbhele, Rae, Williams, Mahlangu, Mbatha (Mogaila 58'), Shalulile, Mvala, Ramagalela (Ndoro 29').

Polokwane: Chigova, Mvelase, Hlongwane, Mbonani, Motloung, Manaka, J Maluleke, W Maluleke (Phiri 72'), Musona (Mngomezulu 70'), Tlolane, Anas.