Leopards reach Nedbank Cup semis
Posted: 23 April 2011 Time: 17:38
Black Leopards beat Vasco Da Gama 3-2 on Saturday to reach the Nedbank Cup semifinals.
‘Lidoda Duvha’ needed extra time to see off Vasco’s challenge. However, the Limpopo side started on the back foot in front of a disappointing crowd at the Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane.
Vasco were the first to threaten when Cole Alexander broke through down the left wing in the fifth minute and crossed for Sibusiso Zuma, who flicked it through for Jerome Ramatlhakwana, but the Botswana international’s tame left-footed strike was parried away by Azwindini Maphaha and the ball was cleared to safety.
Leopards’ first real opportunity of the match fell to Dingane Masanabo in the 27th minute. Raymond Monama, who was a thorn in the Vasco side, put in a defence-splitting pass to find Masanabo in the box, but the veteran striker fluffed the opportunity when he shot straight at Posnett Omony, who made the save.
Five minutes later, Rodney Ramagalela missed a sitter blasting the ball over the bar after a cross from Mongezi Bobe. A minute later, in the 33rd minute, Masanabo cleverly rounded the Vasco defence, but with Omony at his mercy the former Platinum Stars marksman shot tamely and the ball deflected for a corner, which was wasted.
Vasco, despite being under pressure, were first on the score sheet. Karkee’s strike from 30 yards out in the 39th minute beat Maphaha hands down to give Vasco a 1-0 lead. Vasco’s joy was short lived, though. Bobe put in a cross from the left and Aiden Jenniker tried to clear with his left foot, but instead beat his own goalkeeper for an embarrassing own goal.
The halftime score was 1-1.
The chances either side were far and few between in the second half. Mokete Tsotetsi stumbled in the 52nd minute, but Ramagalela couldn’t capitalise as he failed to hit the target.
There was drama in the dying moments, though. Leopards took the lead in the 87th minute when Bobe hit a shot, which was deflected by the Vasco defence sending Omony the wrong way and just when Leopards thought they had done enough Karkee leveled matters in injury time to complete his brace and force the match into extra time.
Substitute Grant Lungu headed in from a cross by Bobe to seal victory in the last minute of extra time.
Black Leopards XI: Maphaha – Kwena, Xakane, Nyirenda, Vezi – Monama (Lungu 100th), Bobe, Mabunda, Masuku – Masanabo (Ng’ambi 71st), Ramagalela (Mabusela 113th)
Vasco Da Gama XI: Omony – Isaacs, Adams, Tsotetsi, Jenniker – Karkee, Alexander, Moloi (Santo 79th), Kamwendo (Kgafane 85th) – Ramatlhakwana (Mothibantwa 73rd), Zuma.
Referee: Victor Gomes
Cautions: Bobe, Nyirenda, Masuku, Lungu; Jenniker, Isaacs