Tuks through on penalties

Bafana Sibeko © Gallo Images
The University of Pretoria continued their love affair with the Nedbank Cup as they defeated Jomo Cosmos 4-2 on penalties at the Rand Stadium on Sunday after the game had ended 1-1 after extra time.

Goalkeeper Siya Mngoma was the hero in the shootout, saving penalties from Gasossou Diarra and Bongani Theletsane to ensure that Tuks, who were the better team on the day, advanced into the quarterfinals.

The two teams were pretty evenly matched in the opening phase of the match, though it was the visitors who looked more incisive going forward and created the better opportunities.

In just the second minute striker Mhlonishwa Dlamini had a sight of goal from just inside the penalty area but Cosmos captain Avril Phali came up with an excellent reaction save to deny Tuks an early goal.

On 19 minutes Dlamini seemed to be in the clear and one-on-one with Phali but Themba Shabalala came across and made a desperate but brilliantly executed sliding tackle to thwart the University side.

As the half wore on Tuks began to exert more and more pressure on Ezenkosi with their quick passing. On 36 minutes they were mere inches away from taking the lead, with Phethego Maebela sending a header just wide after a clever floated cross from Mduduzi Makwakwa.

Makwakwa had the first chance of the second half for University of Pretoria, striking a grass-cutter straight into the arms of Phali after he had found space in between the Cosmos central defenders Shabalala and Oumane Berthe.

Tuks continued to play the better football and were rewarded on 55 minutes when Makwakwa pounced on a rare fumble from Phali and stabbed the ball home from less than two metres out to put the visitors 1-0 up.

Ezenkosi coach Jomo Sono didn’t wait long to shuffle his pack, introducing Bamuza Sono, Bongani Theletsane and Themba Maringa from the substitutes’ bench in an effort to spark his team into life.

And though Tuks looked likelier to add to their advantage, Sono’s changes provided the desired result when the visitors went to sleep at the back and allowed Maringa – completely against the run of play – to run through on goal and chip Siya Mngoma to level the game at 1-1 in the 75th minute.

Tuks were much the better team in the remainder of regulation time and almost snatched a winner at the death when Phali lost the flight of Thulani Notyhawe’s free kick and was lucky to see the ball ricochet away off the upright.

There were no further goals in extra time, though certainly not through a lack of opportunities as Dlamini and Sekou Camara missed glaring opportunities for Tuks and Cosmos respectively.

Jomo Cosmos (0) (1) 1 (Maringa 75’)
University of Pretoria (0) (1) 1 (Makwakwa 55’) – After extra time; Tuks win 4-2 on penalties

Cosmos: (4-3-3) Phali; Shitolo, Shabalala, Berthe, Moloto; Diarra, Bhembe (Sono 64’), Samb; Mongale (Maringa 70’), Camara, Loke (Theletsane 64’)

Tuks: (4-4-2) Mngoma; Ntusi, Omino, Rodrigues, Notyhawe; Sibeko (Monare 73’), Mthombeni, Wambi, Maebela; Dlamini (Zulu 107’), Makwakwa (Rusike 68’)

Penalty sequence: (Tuks shoot first) Mthombeni scores 1-0, Berthe scores 1-1; Maebela scores 2-1, Camara scores 2-2; Mngoma misses 2-2, Diarra misses 2-2; Rodrigues scores 3-2, Theletsane misses 3-2; Monare scores 4-2 – Tuks win 4-2.