By MATOME MOKGALABE
GRANT Lungu came off from the bench and sealed Black Leopards’ extra-time 3-2 victory over Vasco da Gama in the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup match played at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Limpopo this afternoon.
Leopards came to this match with two minds, firstly to avenge their defeat by Da Gama who denied them promotion last season, and secondly to prove their cup pedigree in the Ke Yona Cup-and they were indeed rewarded as they had the last laugh at the end.
Lidoda Duvha however had to suffer some early night-mares after the visitors took the game to them in the early minutes of the first half with Cole Alendra and Sibusiso Zuma hot in the heels of their defenders, but the two found goalkeeper, Azwindini Maphalala equally to the task.
While it seems like there was not going to be any goal in the first half, Da Gama did unthinkable thing when they took the lead with only six minutes remaining before the break when Jason Karkee slotted home.
The Cape side’s joy however was short-lived as Leopards pulled one back when Mmongezi Bobe’s attempt was aided into an empty net by Aiden Jenniker’s deflection who was trying to clear the ball to force the match levelled to 1-1 at half time.
Leopards came back fuming in the second half, putting more pressure as they visited Da Gama’s goal-mouth regularly but no goals came forth.
The Venda-based side continued to push forward, and they were only rewarded in the 87th minutes when Da Gama defender beat his own goalkeeper while trying to clear Bobe’s attempt that gave Leopards a 2-1 lead.
Karkee however levelled the matters at the stroke of time to force the game into extra-time which saw substitute, Lungu who came in for Raymond Monama in the 100 minute sealing Leopards’ victory on their way through to the semi-finals.