Durban - Golden Arrows sealed their place in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals as an own goal in extra time secured a 1-0 victory over Polokwane City at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The first half was a closely contested affair, and it took both teams a while to find their rhythm before the contest began to hot up after the 20-minute mark.
Arrows tried their luck from range through Danny Phiri in the 23rd minute, but his speculative effort flew over the crossbar, while at the opposite end of the pitch, Mohammed Anas saw his goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Gladwin Shitolo.
And, just moments before the half-hour mark, Arrows coach Steve Komphela received a booking after giving the referee a piece of his mind from the touchline.
Polokwane were being forced to defend in the closing stages but Arrows were unable to breach their obstinate defence.
And Arrows were nearly caught out just two minutes before the half-time break as keeper Edmore Sibanda had to be on his toes to keep out a Polokwane free-kick.
While there was again plenty of action after the half-time break, it was Polokwane goalkeeper George Chigova who took centre stage as he was forced into making several saves to keep his side in the contest.
Nkosinathi Sibisi headed just over the bar on 52 minutes following a quickly taken corner, while Arrows team-mate Knox Mutizwa struck the post before seeing the linesman raise his flag for offside.
Mutizwa again denied an Arrows set-piece as he produced a brilliant save on 72 minutes, before Rise and Shine hit back with a chance of their own five minutes later, with Lesiba Nku's stinging shot forcing Sibanda into making a save.
And, with the final whistle and extra time looming closer, both teams redoubled their efforts in the final 10 minutes in a bid to snatch a late win.
However, both 'keepers were having none of it.
Chigova pulled off an amazing double save in the 80th minute to deny Mutizwa, with Sibanda keeping Polokwane at bay just two minutes later.
Mutizwa had a chance to make amends for his earlier missed opportunity as he bore down on goal after a neat one-two, but Chigova was equal to the task, ensuring the match would head to extra time.
The deadlock was finally broken in the closing stages of the first half of extra time, and Arrows received a big slice of luck as Nicholas Motloung deflected the ball into his own net after trying to block Mutizwa's shot on goal.
Polokwane had one last chance to snatch a draw at the death to force a penalty shootout, but their free-kick attempt flew narrowly wide, much to the relief of the Arrows bench.
- TeamTalk Media