Royal AM advanced to the last eight of the Nedbank Cup after edging Swallows FC 1-0 on Friday evening.
Goalkeeper Jody February, Musa Nyatama and Junaid Sait were recalled by Swallows coach Dylan Kerr, as the visitors called upon Elias Pelembe, Tshepo Rikhotso, Mfundo Thikazi and Jabulani Ncobeni amongst others.
There was little that separated the two teams in the opening exchanges of the match and such shots from range and looping crosses wide of the area filtered through.
In all though, the Dube Birds saw a lot of the ball and openings at the top end of the pitch but couldn’t merge those elements into shots on goal let alone on target as the half flow by.
The visitors made a positive start in the second half when Thikazi cut into the edge of the area from a switch of play and produced February to a save with a low snap shot following a one-two.
Nonetheless, Swallows remained calm and could’ve been ahead from the penalty-spot on 55 minutes after Ncobeni handled in the area but captain Lebohang Mokoena saw his spot-kicked saved.
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Royal AM injected additional firepower midway in the second half to with-held the pressure from the host with Victor Letsoalo, Solly Matjila and Ndumiso Mabena introduced.
The Dube Birds continued to look lively in possession minutes later and needed a stunning save from Hugo Nyame to parry Kabelo Mahlatsi’s scorcher and deny them the lead.
Royal AM seized control in the last ten minutes after a lay-off metres in the six-yard area from Mxolisi Macuphu found Kabelo Mahlasela, who slotted into the bottom corner.
Dylan Kerr’s side began to push forward and nearly levelled with six minutes to go through a low teasing shot from a clever angle by Thabo Mosadi.
Swallows didn’t stop pursuing the equaliser as fulltime loomed, but Royal AM held firm and picked up the win and in the process a quarter-final ticket.
Swallows: February, Sait, Sasman, Solomons, Nyatama, Mokoena, Mahlatsi, Saleng, Ndlovu, Musonda.
Subs: Ngobeni, Mohamme, Khupe, Mbhele, Matlou, Mosadi, Mhlongo, Gamildien, Malinga.
Royal AM: Nyame, Thikazi, Matlaba, Ncobeni, Manganyi, Monamodi, Mashikinya, Rikhotso, Kobedi, Pelembe, Macuphu.
Subs: Huegh, Letoalo, Mogaila, Maxwele, Mahlasela, Masuku, Shezi, Mabena, Matjila.