Home Sport SuperSport United into Nedbank Cup quarter-finals after early strike

SuperSport United into Nedbank Cup quarter-finals after early strike

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Selaelo Rasebotja of Supersport United celebrates goal in the Nedbank Cup clash against Platinum City Rovers. Picture: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

SuperSport United advanced into the final eight of the Nedbank Cup after a 1-0 win over Platinum City Rovers at Olen Park.

Johannesburg – SuperSport United advanced into the final eight of the Nedbank Cup after a 1-0 win over Platinum City Rovers at Olen Park on Saturday evening.

An early strike from Selaelo Rasebotja seemed to suggest a flurry of goals was on the cards for top-flight Matsatsantsa against their second-tier Glad Africa Championship opponents. However, no further net-rippling action arrived – despite the Tshwane visitors putting in a dominant display, especially in the first 45 minutes.

SuperSport got off to an absolute flyer and claimed the lead within the opening 30 seconds of the match. Iqraam Rayners did great work to collect a cross missed by Rovers goalkeeper Thabiso Mabitsela before teeing up midfielder Rasebotja to fire home from the right side of the penalty area.

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United went on to assert their dominance in terms of possession and chances created without adding to their advantage. Striker Thamsanqa Gabuza was a true menace to the hosts’ defence, coming close to a second goal in the 22nd minute when he struck the crossbar with a close-range header.

He also sent a swerving shot just over the crossbar and was denied by ’keeper Mabitsela in the 29th and 36th minutes, as Matsatsantsa were able to flow forward and trouble Rovers’ rearguard seemingly at will.

On 42 minutes the in-form Jesse Donn let fly from long range and produced a fantastic effort on target, but Mabitsela put up a strong hand to turn the ball over the top for a corner kick.

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On the cusp of halftime, SuperSport were awarded a penalty for a clumsy challenge from Thabo Sebego on Aubrey Ngoma. Gabuza took on the spot-kick but was denied by Mabitsela’s best save of the match – diving low to his left – to leave the game just 1-0 in favour of Matsatsantsa at the interval.

After the restart, SuperSport lost the attacking rhythm they enjoyed in the first half, though they continued to control the game and still created some notable chances from set-pieces – with Thatayaone Ditlhokwe guilty of a couple of misses from corner kicks.

Rovers looked to their bench to shake things up and try to force a way back into the contest. The likes of William Radebe, Eric Ntlaba and Tebogo Sodi were introduced through the course of the second half – but they were unable to rattle a resilient United defence, let alone test highly-rated goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

SuperSport had the chance to kill off the game once and for all in injury time when a counter gave Ghampani Lungu a clear sight of goal, but another fine save from Mabitsela kept the score down to 1-0.

However, it did not prevent United from joining Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, University of Pretoria, Royal AM, Marumo Gallants and Mamelodi Sundowns as quarter-finalists thus far.

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