AmaZulu send United packing
Bongani Ndulula (Gallo Images)
Rustenberg - AmaZulu progressed to the Nedbank Cup Round of 16 when they defeated United FC at Olympia Park on Sunday afternoon.
Usuthu took an early lead courtesy of an own-goal from Mpho Mvelase, while Bongani Ndulula added the second early in the second half.
Mvelase broke the deadlock in the 6th minute as he headed the ball into his own net while attempting to clear a freekick from Marc Van Heerden.
The home side thought they had grabbed the equaliser in the 17th minute when Abram Mahlaba swept the ball into the back of the net at the far post, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Three minutes later Siyabonga Zulu managed to get his low effort on target from the left side, but Tapuwa Kapini was positioned well to make a comfortable save.
United continued to pile on the pressure in search of the equaliser but Alfred Lekata volleyed over the crossbar in the 23rd minute, while Mahlaba saw his powerful strike flying wide of the upright in the 31st minute.
Van Heerden came close to doubling the visitors’ lead from another setpiece four minutes before the break, but this time his freekick curled just wide of the target as Usuthu took a slender lead into the break.
United came close to levelling matters eight minutes into the second half when Mahlaba found some space just inside the box, but he failed to pick his spot, directing his shot straight at Kapini.
The hosts were made to pay for that missed opportunity in the 56th minute as Ndulula doubled the lead with a delightful chip over the advancing Gatsha Majola after using his strength to run over a tackle.
The United FC goalkeeper prevented Usuthu from stretching their lead even further in the 69th minute, parrying a solid first-time shot from Njabulo Manqana into safety.
Six minutes later substitute Thabo Gouwe spotted Kapini off his line at the other end but his lobbed effort dipped well over the crossbar.
United were then awarded a penalty in the 85th minute after Bongi Macala was adjudged to have committed a foul inside the penalty area but Mahlaba failed to capitalise as his shot was parried by Kapini.
AmaZulu finished the match strongly and had two good chances to add a third goal, but substitute John Arwuah blasted his shot over the crossbar in the 90th minute, while Ayanda Dlamini was denied by a good low save from Majola in added time.
United FC 0
AmaZulu (1) 2 (Mvelase OG 6’, Ndulula 56’)
United FC: Majola, Zulu, Mvelase, Moonsamy, Komane, Diale (Gouwe 61’), Lekata (Coetzee 65’), Mohomi, Shiba (Wambi 58’), Mahlaba, Madolo
AmaZulu: Kapini, Van Heerden, Mwedihanga, Nyadombo, Macala, Liphoko (Mthiyane 46’), Manqana (Arwuah 87’), Madondo, Dlamini A, Ndulula (Zondi 81’), Dlamini G