Santos into Last 16
Gregory Roelf (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Santos have survived some anxious first half moments before overcoming Gamalakhe United 2-1 in a Nedbank Cup Last 32 game played at the Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night, Despite their status as underdogs from the third tier, Gamalakhe made an excellent start to the game.
Indeed, they should have been ahead on nine minutes after Siyabonga Mkhize was played clean through on goal, but he hurried his shot which enabled Pa Demba Touray to get down and turn the ball around the post.
But National First Division side Santos also had chances, Edwin Sitayitayi shooting wide at the near post and then having a header well saved by Thulasizwe Khuzwayo by the time 13 minutes were on the clock.
It was however the visiting team from Port Shepstone who were to take the lead on 22 minutes, a brilliant move involving a string of passes ending with Sakhile Kubheka turning the ball into an empty net after Mkhize's square ball had cut out Touray.
The Peoples' Team were back on level terms five minutes before the break, Gregory Roelf powering home a header from on the line after Suhayl Allie's corner had left the Gamalakhe defence flat footed.
The KZN side were then to suffer a further setback just before the break when Asiphi Nkonzo was unfortunate to see his attempted clearance looping up into his own net.
Santos looked to have the game under more control after the restart, and had several chances to extend their lead, such as Sitayitayi's 67th minute header on the stretch, which flashed just wide, as well as Roelf's 75th minute effort, which was fired straight at Khuzwayo.
As the game moved into the final stages, the Gamalakhe players showed the effects of their storming start to the game, some tiring legs meaning that the Peoples' Team were able to make it through to end of the game without too many problems.
Nedbank Cup results on Wednesday:
Buffalo 2 Cape Town 0
Santos 2 Gamalakhe Utd 1
Stellenbosch University 0 Bloemfontein Celtic 8