Richards Bay shock Free State Stars

2019-01-26 18:48
Nedbank Cup trophy (TEAMtalk)
Bethlehem - Richards Bay upset defending Nedbank Cup champions Free State Stars 2-1 to advance to the next round on Saturday. 
The National First Division team survived an onslaught from Free State Stars, who will lament many missed opportunities, ultimately succumbing to two counter attacks at a sun-baked Goble Park.  
The hosts showed they were certainly the big brothers on the pitch early on, stringing together a number of fluid moves, but just couldn't find the back of the net. Sinethemba Jantjie proved to be a menace, twice finding space but skewered his shot on both occasions. 
Free State Stars continued to control possession, with KwaZulu-Natal's Rich Boys relying on frenetic counter-attacks that were easily thwarted by the wiser Stars defence. 
In the dying embers of opening half, a superb through-ball put Richard Bay's Paseka Sekese in space on the edge of the box and the midfielder tried to round his marker but was off balance when he took the shot, which sailed over the crossbar. 
With the half-time whistle imminent, Free State Stars' Yussuf Jappie fired a rocket from a good 35 yards out, but left Andile Mbanjwa untroubled. 
Free State Stars continued to impress at the set piece early in the second half, with Harris Tchilimbou earning a free header at the back post from a corner, but his effort missed the left hand post. 
Richards Bay would finally break the deadlock against the run of play in the 53rd minute. Midfielder Sandile Kubeka put Michael Gumede in space, who controlled the ball beautifully before firing the ball home with a powerful right footed strike that was too hot for Stars stopper Badra Sangare to handle.
The goal resulted in Free State upping the intensity with a flurry of attacks but the Richards Bay defence, though far from convincing at times, managed to hold.
The killer blow from Richards Bay came via the right boot of Siyanda Ngubo. Under attack deep in their half, the KwaZulu-Natal Rich Boys snuffled the ball and substitute Sandile Mthethwa hoofed it down route one, only to somehow pick out a flying Ngubo who showed blistering pace and skill to make it 2-0 for the visitors. 
However, Free State Stars continued to press and they were finally rewarded two minutes later. A long ball was played in and after Richards Bay failed to clear, Sifiso Mbele had time to guide the ball past Mbanjwa to give the hosts hope.
The defending champions threw everything they had at the panicked Richards Bay defence in the dying embers of the match, but the visitors survived a couple goalmouth scrambles to record a memorable win and advance to the round of 16.



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