SIBUSISO Zuma’s extra time penalty secured a second successive Nedbank Cup final berth for SuperSport United in a 3-2 victory over Platinum Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Matsatsantsa stay on course to defend their title against Kaizer Chiefs thanks to goals from Zuma, Kermit Erasmus and Clifford Mulenga. Platinum Stars’ goals were scored by Tintswalo Tshabalala and Thabani Mthembu.
Tintswalo Tshabalala registered the first shot on target in the fifth minute of the encounter. The midfielder’s powerful drive from outside the area warmed the palms of Ronwen Willams, who was immediately angered at his defence in the aftermath.
Williams’ opposite number Kabelo Dambe was forced into a good save 12 minute later. The Dikwena shot stopper did well to direct a Thabiso Nkoana drive from an acute angle away from his goal.
Kermit Erasmus put the ball in the back of the net in the 23rd minute of the clash after some good work from Mark Haskins. The striker’s celebrations, though, were cut short upon realising that he was adjudged to be in an offside position in the build-up.
Platinum Stars took the lead two minutes later through Tintswalo Tshabalala. The midfielder took advantage of a loose ball just outside the area following a good save from Ronwen WIillams to blast his side into the lead; the goal was his third of the season.
Mogogi Gabonamong was lucky not to receive his marching orders following a studs-up challenge on Benson Mhlongo five minutes before the break.
Dikwena had a great opportunity to extend their lead through Tshepo Gumede in the 42nd minute of the match, but the defender only managed to direct his header over the crossbar from close range.
Dikwena went into the break a goal to the good thanks to a well taken goal from Tshabalala.
SuperSport United got the second stanza off to a flying start, levelling matters six minutes after the interval through Kermit Erasmus. The striker latched onto a long ball to net a suburb goal.
Matsatsantsa weren’t going to stop there and went close through Nkoana and Erasmus within the next few minutes. Nkoana’s strike from just inside the area went just over Dambe’s crossbar while the latter’s strike from the edge of the area rattled the woodwork.
In the midst of the frantic start to the half, Dikwena were dealt a massive blow as Henrico Botes was stretchered of the pitch with what looked to be a serious injury.
The action took a bit of a dip following the exciting start to the second 45, with both sides struggling to break down the opposition’s defence.
Second half substitute Clifford Mulenga gave Matsatsantsa the lead for the first time in the match in the 78th minute of the match. The Zambian tapped in from close range after Gabonamong and Dambe clashed in the area from an Erasmus free-kick.
Gabonamong seemed to have impeded his Botswana counterpart in the build-up to the goal but the referee let the goal stand.
Thabani Mthembu levelled matters in second half stoppage time from the penalty spot after Bevan Fransman brought down Thuso Phala inside the area. The youngster’s first attempt was saved, but the official ordered a retake and the striker made no mistake to subsequently send the game into extra-time.
Sibusiso Zuma regained SuperSport’s lead on the verge of halftime in extra time from the penalty spot. The veteran forward coolly slotted the ball into the back of the net after Gumede bought down Edwin Gyimah just inside the area.
Stars piled forward in search of the equaliser but SuperSport’s defence stood tall.
Platinum Stars (1) 2 (Tshabalala 25’ T. Mthembu 90’)
SuperSport United (0) 3 (Erasmus 51’ Mulenga 79’ Zuma 105’)
Platinum Stars: Dambe, Mere, Ngwepe (Mthembu 89’), Gumede, Mhlongo, Ng’ambi, Phala, Mathe, Botes (Mthembu 49’), Ngele (Msomi 72’), Tshabalala
SuperSport United: Williams, Fransman, Erasmus (Maluleka 96’), Nkoana (Mulenga 69’), Doutie, Zuma, Mdledle, Haskins, Gyimah, Gabonamong, Kekana (Nkausu 65’)-Backpage TXT