Champions edge through against Vasco
Posted: 13 March 2013 Time: 21:22
SuperSport United are through to the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals after a hardfought 2-1 win against Vasco da Gama at Athlone Stadium.
Robbie Santo gave the home side the lead through his free-kick, but goals from Mark Haskins and the substitute Thabiso Nkoana gave the defending Champions the win.
On their road to successfully defend their title, SuperSport were looking to avoid an upset and not become the next giant to be knocked out by a minnow when they came up against Vasco da Gama.
But with Vasco on the back of a run of four successive wins and with them being the only remaining Cape Town team left, their confidence was at an all-time high.
And Supersport’s looming CAF Champions League saw Gavin Hunt opt to ring in the changes for the game as he fielded the likes of Danleigh Borman and Thabo Moloi.
Hunt’s side threatened early on through Prince Nzumalo, but Vasco goalkeeper Gershin Kock did well to rush off his line and throw his body in the way.
Moments later and it was Vasco who broke out on the counter-attack through George Akpabio, who showed strength to shake of his marker, but Ronwen Williams performed an impressive double save, with the second coming off Mzwandile Ndzimamdze’s rebounded effort.
Nineteen minutes in and the scoreline changed in favour of the hosts when Santo’s free-kick, from 20-yards out, rounded the wall before bouncing on the ground and beating Williams.
In the 35th minute SuperSport managed to draw level when Mark Haskins cut through the defence and slotted the ball past Kock in goal.
Thabiso Nkoana was brought on at the start of the second half, and he was to play a major part in the outcome of the match.
Ndzimamdze was often exposing SuperSport on the flank and he supplied a cross which nearly caused problems for Williams as it nearly dipped onto the back of the net midway through the second half.
But Nkoana had the final say eight minutes from time, holding off a defender before firing a fierce drive past Kock for the winner.
Vasco da Gama: Kock, Julius, Adonis, Adams, Santo (Ncaca 88’), Ndzimandze, Fransman, Lakay (Fransch 84’), Shelembe, Mobara, Akpabio
SuperSport United: Williams, Moloi, Borman, Haskins, Gyimah, Nxumalo (Nkoana 46’), Gabonamong, Maluleke, Cale (Mulenga 69’), Nyondo, Diouf (Hartog 86’)