Absa Premiership

Maritzburg advance in Nedbank Cup

2018-02-10 18:57
Fadlu Davids (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - A brace from Andrea Fileccia paved the way for Maritzburg United's 3-1 extra-time win over a gallant Swallows FC side in the Nedbank Cup last 32 at the Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday.

Apart from the early goal from United, the Second Division team dominated the first half and had a succession of chances before getting the equaliser.

The second half was more evenly contested, with the Team of Choice growing stronger as the game went towards the end of regulation time. With the Swallows players visibly tiring in extra time, Maritzburg's superior conditioning came to the fore as they went in for the kill.

The KZN club made the perfect start when Mxolisi Kunene's cross was volleyed home clinically by Fileccia.

Swallows came back with some passages of outstanding interplay, although their end product was poor.

At the other end, Yazid Atouba missed two decent chances for the visitors before Swallows striker Tshepo Mashigo's close-range effort hit the upright.

Mashigo was not to be denied, however, and he levelled the match after doing superbly to turn a defender before firing in a low shot from inside the box.

Bongani Mnguni could have put the hosts in front a minute later but was unlucky to see his volley from an acute angle striking the post.

Maritzburg also had a chance to take the lead, but Swallows keeper Vusimuzi Ntinkinga did well to tip Motsie Matima's header over the bar.

Swallows had more chances after half-time as Bonakele Mngomezulu missed narrowly with a volley before visiting keeper Bongani Mpandle saved from Nhlakanipho Vilakazi.

But with the lively Mashigo forced off through injury, Swallows' threat began to wane and the Team of Choice had chances through Siyanda Xulu, whose 80th-minute header was superbly saved by Ntinkinga, and Atouba, who fired wide from the edge of the area. 

There were no further clear-cut chances which meant the game went into extra-time.

And it took Maritzburg just seven minutes to score, as Fileccia pounced on an error at the back to blaze in a shot from just inside the box.

The tie was wrapped up eight minutes before the end when Mxolisi Kunene added to his assist for Fileccia's first goal when he rifled the ball into the roof of the net from 12-yards out after Swallows had failed to deal with a cross.

Read more on:    maritzburg united  |  psl  |  soccer
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