A great individual goal from Thuso Phala in the 111th minute handed SuperSport United a 3-2 win over Platinum Stars in the final of the 2014 Telkom Knockout at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
SuperSport started brightly and had the first decent effort on goal in the ninth minute when Dove Wome unleased a 30-yard thunderbolt, but saw his effort superbly turned round the post by the fingertips of Siyabonga Mpontshane.
SuperSport almost scored from the resulting corner when Lebogang Manyama met a David Mathebula corner and tried to chest the ball home, but saw his attempt cleared off the goalline by Eleazar Rodgers.
Stars’ first opening on goal came off a Ronwen Williams mistake in the 15th minute when the goalkeeper’s attempted clearance ricocheted off Rodgers and into the path of Robert Ng’ambi, but he saw his attempted chip from 30-yards out saved by the keeper who did well to get back.
In the 21st minute SuperSport should have been awarded a penalty when Manyama was clearly brought down inside the box by Tshepo Gumede, but the referee, to everyone’s surprise, waved away the appeals.
A minute later Stars nearly took the lead when Luvolwethu Mpeta broke behind the SuperSport defence, but he fired wide form just inside the box with just the keeper to beat.
Stars did take the lead in the 29th minute when Ng’ambi was played into space inside the box by Mogakolodi Ngele, and he duly fired home from 14-yards out, 1-0.
SuperSport were afforded the chance to level matter sin the 35th minute when Mathebula was pulled down inside the box by Mpeta and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
SuperSport’s captain Clayton Daniels stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to draw the game level going into the halftime break, 1-1.
The second 45 was not as entertaining as the first and we only saw a few opportunities in front of goal.
In the 57th minute Ngele came close to giving his side the lead for the second time when his low grass-cutter from just inside the box struck the side-netting.
SuperSport’s best chance of the second half came in the 79th minute when Mathebula played Wome into space, but his shot was straight at the keeper who made a good save.
The game ended 1-1 and went into extra-time.
The first half of extra-time produced plenty of excitement with SuperSport winning a penalty 11 minutes in after Thuso Phala was brought down inside the box by Solomon Mathe.
Daniels stepped up and converted his second penalty of the match to give SuperSport the lead, 2-1.
Two minutes later Stars drew level with a superb goal from Ngele as his strike from the edge of the box found the bottom right corner of the net, 2-2.
Stars were afforded the chance to take the lead in the dying seconds of first half injury time when Thabo Moloi handled the ball inside the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
Eleazar Rodgers stepped up for Stars, but saw his penalty superbly saved by Williams and again saw the keeper stop his rebound effort with the first half of extra-time ending 2-2.
The second half of extra-time saw Thusa Phala score a magnificent solo goal in the 111th minute to seal victory for SuperSport.
Phala picked up the ball on the right flank and proceeded to drive into the box, beating two defenders before curling the ball with the outside of his right boot into the corner of the net from 14-yards out, 1-0.
SuperSport United (1) 3 (Daniels 36’ pen + 101’ pen, Phala 111’)
Platinum Stars (1) 2 (Ng’ambi 29’, Ngele 104’)
SuperSport United: Ronwen Williams, Thabo Moloi, Clayton Daniels, Sibusiso Khumalo, Thabo September, Lebogang Manyama, Dove Wome (Morne Nel 105’), Michael Morton, David Mathebula (Dino Ndlovu 98’), Thuso Phala, Enocent Mkhabela (Bradley Grobler 70’).
Platinum Stars: Siyabonga Mpontshane, Tshepo Gumede, Vuyo Mere, Thabiso Semenya, Letladi Madubanya (Mogakolodi Ngele 28’), Luvolwethu Mpeta, Tintswalo Tshabalala (Rhulani Manzini 113’), Robert Ngambi, Solomon Mathe, Ndumiso Mabena (Mahlatsi Makudubela 84’), Eleazar Rodgers.-Backpage TXT