Maritzburg end Swallows' Nedbank Cup journey
Posted: 10 February 2018 Time: 11:51
Maritzburg United were taken all the way to extra time before earning a 3-1 victory over Swallows FC in the Nedbank Cup last 32.
Fadlu Davids were without four regulars through suspension and was forced to make an alarming seven changes from the 2-1 defeat to Orlando Pirates.
That though didn’t unsettle them as they took an early lead when Andrea Fileccia connected with Paseka Sanoka’s cross for a delightful half-volley after two minutes.
The Belgium went forward for his brace, but couldn’t direct his header properly to goal eight minutes later.
Despite the early set-back, Swallows dusted themselves and took the game to the visitors with the help of Joseph Banyane.
The diminutive midfielder let rip with a shot from outside the box that forced Bongani Mpandle to push it back to play.
Maritzburg on the other end were looking for a second, and Yazid Atouba, who was given a rare start, missed the opportunity to give them that after sending his header over the top.
After relentless pressure, the Team of Choice finally gave in with Tshepo Mashego drawing the hosts level after 35 minutes.
Sadly, Mashego didn’t come out for the second half and was replaced by Thembile Taliwe, and this slightly put them on the back foot early on.
Taliwe kept up the pressure at the either end, and was unfortunate to not get on the end of Joseph Mnguni’s cross.
Fileccia still searched for his brace, and found himself through on goal after a defensive slip-up, but failed to make the opportunity count.
Swallows goalkeeper Vusumuzi Ntikinga came up with an acrobatic save to stop Atouba from regaining the lead for the visitors towards the closing stages.
The game went into 30 minutes of extra time, and it took the Pietermaritzburg outfit eight minutes to regain the lead with a clinical finish from Fileccia after poor defending from the Birds.
The former Free State Stars man was then replaced by Mohau Mokate as his chances to grab a hat-trick was denied by Davids.
Taliwe linked up with a cross from the right, but he failed to direct his header on target as it rolled slowly past Mpandle’s goal.
Fortune Makaringe then adopted a rush of blood to the head scenario after rushing Sanoka’s cross with a badly executed side-footer.
However, Maritzburg eventually made the game safe courtesy of Mxolisi Kunene, who calmly beat Ntikinga with a well-taken left-footed shot to go into the head for the next round.
Swallows: Ntikinga, Matlola, Moeketsi (Msibi 71’), Mlambo, Mokoena, Vilakazi, Letooane, Mngomezulu, Mashigo (Taliwe 46’), Mnguni, Banyane (Makhanye 80’).
Subs: Mahlatsi, Taliwe, Mkahanye, Goba, Msibi, Khambule, Molifi.
AWAY: Maritzburg United
Coach: Fadlu Davids