Maritzburg pip Wits to TKO last eight

Maritzburg United secured passage to the Telkom Knockout last eight with a 3-1 penalty shoot-out victory over Bidvest Wits on Friday evening.

Ricardo Goss got his second start in goal for Wits while Terrence Dzvukamanja returned up front. For Maritzburg, Bongani Mpandle was preferred ahead of Richard Ofori in goal for the home side.

Goss justified his inclusion in fine style with a point blank save off Mxolisi Kunene’s low shot from inside the area seconds from kickoff after good work from Thabiso Kutumela.

The slow start didn’t seem to affect the Clever Boys, who instead grew bigger and bigger into the game which led to a couple of attempts at Mpandle’s end.

In the second half, United provided more danger signs in the earlier minutes but Goss accompanied by his defenders were hard to break down.

Wits responded moments later as Dzvukamanja and Thabang Monare looked to carve an opening, but Nazeer Allie was on hand to clear the danger. Eric Tinkler instilled the evening’s first substitution on 55 minutes, as Deolin Mekoa filled in for New Zealander Daniel Morgan.

However, Gavin Hunt's troops went in front a minute later after Dzvukamanja leaped high in the area to beat Mpandle with a strong header.

Maritzburg replied instantly from the penalty spot through Kutumela after Zitha Macheke was flagged and subsequently booked for a strong lunge on Kunene.

A fast-paced set of minutes followed afterwards as both sides pushed for the second, but neither front pair found the golden touch, as the match went to extra time.

The close-knit affair continued well in the additional minutes; as neither side opened found the all important breakthrough, thus sending the match to a penalty shoot-out. After missing two spot kicks, the Clever Boys were knocked out after the Team of Choice successfully tucked away three kicks.

Teams:

Maritzburg: Mpandle, Xulu, Mngonyama, Morgan, De Reuck, Allie, Kunene, Shandu, Claasen, Kutumela, Brockie.

Subs: Ofori, Sanoka, Moseamedi, Mekoa, Augusto, Nyoni, Sangweni.

Wits: Goss, Hlatshwayo, Monare, Domingo, Hotto, Hlanti, Mkhwanazi, Alexander, Macheke, Macuphu, Dzvukamanja.

Subs:

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