Maritzburg advance to semis after penalty shootout with Highlands

Yusuf Jappie © Gallo Images

Maritzburg United are the first team to book their place in the 2019 Telkom Knockout semifinals following a 4-3 penalty shoot-out (1-1 after extra-time) win over Highlands Park at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Friday evening.

Gabriel Nyoni scored the decisive spot-kick for the hosts who beat Bidvest Wits by the same manner in the their round of 16 tie.

The two goals on the night came from a Jerry Msane header and a Mlungisi Mbunjana own goal on either side of the break in regulation time.

Highlands were the better team in the opening exchanges of the clash and should've opened the scoring with nine minutes on the clock after Mokete Mogaila picked out Wayde Joose inside the area, but he somehow failed to find the target with the goal at his mercy.

He, though, wasn't made to rue the missed chance for very long as Msane fired visitors in front five minutes later. Bongani Mpandle's attempted clearance fell to the Lions of the North man who somehow guided his looping header into the back of the net.

Maritzburg's best chance of the half came on the half-hour mark, but having done so well to create space for himself in the area, Mxolisi Kunene could only succeed in flashing his resulting attempt wide of goal.

The Team of Choice improved after the break and levelled matters - albeit through fortunate circumstances - in the 51st minute as Mbunjana nodded Yusuf Jappie's corner-kick into the back of his own net.

Extra-time duly followed as neither side were able to conjure a winner and after 30 minutes of additional time the game would ultimately come down to penalty kicks.

Mpandle and Marlon Heugh saved a penalty respectively while the only other miss came from Peter Shalulile. Bevan Fransman scored to keep Highlands alive up until the final kick, but Nyoni made sure there would be no need for sudden death as he blasted his attempt home to send the fans into delirium.

Maritzburg United (0) 1 (Mbunjana 51' og)

Highlands Park (1) 1 (Msane 14')

Maritzburg won 4-3 on penalties.

Maritzburg United: Mpandle; Xulu, Kunene, Sanoka, De Reuck, Mngonyama, Allie, Claasen (Jappie 46'), Shandu, Kutumela (Augusto 78'), Moseamedi (Nyoni 103').

Highlands Park: Heugh; Fransman, Rae, Msimango, Williams, Jooste (Mbhele 80'), Msane, Letsholonyane (Mokoena 61'), Mbunjana, Nyembe (Shalulile 57'), Mogaila.