Nine-man Santos advance
Botshabelo - Despite red cards for Siyabulela Songwiqi and Salman King, an eighth minute goal from Pere Ariweriyai was enough to hand Santos a 1-0 win over Roses United in a Nedbank Cup Last 16 match at Botshabelo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The first 45 minutes was a half that saw the side two tiers below Santos control the flow of the game and dictate terms for large portions of the stanza.
Still, despite the underdogs’ dominance they saw themselves trailing by a goal at the break, but with an extra man advantage after Songwiqi was sent from the field in the 34th minute of the match.
The People’s Team, though, started lively and Pere Ariweriyai handed them the lead in the eighth minute, his first goal since December last year.
The goal came about after Vuyisile Wana lobbed a teasing ball into the box and Ariweriyai got to it ahead of his marker and duly headed the ball home from six-yards out, 1-0.
After the goal, however, it was all Roses United and they should have levelled matters in the 14th minute when a long throw-in from the right found its way to Alex Ngomane, but he headed straight at the keeper from close range when an effort either side would have been a certain goal.
Lebogang Shomolekae also came close to scoring the equaliser in the 22nd minute, but he saw his 22-yard free-kick sail narrowly over the crossbar.
And if Roses weren’t in enough control, Songwiqi handed them an even greater advantage after he was shown his second yellow card in the 34th minute.
While departing from the field, in the process of being substituted, the Santos man took his time and the referee branded a second yellow for time wasting.
Consequently, the substitute could not take place and Duncan Crowie’s team was reduced to ten men.
Roses continued to push forward in search of the equaliser and only the width of the post saw them trailing at the break.
Seconds before the hal- time whistle a deflected cross found Ngomane unmarked inside the box and 12-yards out from goal, but while his shot beat the keeper it bounced off the left-hand upright and away from danger.
The second 45 saw Santos defending from the word go and only the poor finishing of Roses United saw the People’s Team keep the lead.
Santos were even reduced to nine men in the 76th minute after King was also sent form the field after receiving a second yellow.
Nonetheless, the visitors stuck numbers behind the ball and produced a stubborn defensive performance to see themselves progress into the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup.