United stay in hunt
SUPERSPORT United and AmaZulu yesterday booked themselves a berth in the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup after they edged out Jomo Cosmos and Santos respectively with a 1-0 defeat apiece.
Matsatsantsa a Pitori pipped Cosmos at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, thanks to a spectacular goal from Thabiso Nkoana.
Usuthu, on the other hand, saw off Santos at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu after Carlington Nyadombo's 33rd minute header.
Nkoana's goal livened up this otherwise dull encounter between United and Cosmos, two teams that have become draw specialists in the league.
Nkoana scored with a beautiful overhead kick, his first goal for the club, in the 57th minute to send United through to their first semifinals of the tournament.
It is probably not that much of a blow for Cosmos, with coach Jomo Sono having made it clear that Absa Premiership survival, and not the cup, was a priority.
And their pedestrian approach to this match told the full story.
United had much more at stake and their intentions were made clear by Gavin Hunt fielding three strikers in Nkoana, Sibusiso Zuma and Kermit Erasmus.
Despite winning three consecutive league titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010, Hunt has never been able to show his team can also dominate in cup matches.
And with this performance, the jury is still out.
There were few chances for United in this match but Ezenkosi goalkeeper Avril Phali made some incredible saves.
In the 13th minute, Erasmus took Ezenkosi defenders on but saw his shot hit the woodwork and go out of play. Jabu Maluleke and Nkoana were both denied by Phali's acrobatics.
The goal-minder didn't have any time to boast even to himself after the great save as Nkoana scored a minute later to give United the lead.
Cosmos never looked like scoring, with their only shot at goal coming from Siyabonga Nhlapho in the first half. The attempt did not even trouble United keeper Rowen Fernandez.
United and AmaZulu joined Free State Stars and Sundowns in the semifinals whose draw will be conducted today.