Premier’s Cup produces goals and excitement

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The first two matches of the Premier’s Cup that were played on Saturday produced four goals each and were decided on penalties.

Maritzburg United had to come back from behind to salvage a 2-2 against Uthongathi FC at the death.

Uthongathi’s goal were scored by Issa Sarr and Thato Mohlamme while Bongokuhle Hlongwane scored a brace for Ernst Middendorp’s side.

Hlongwane opened the scoring earlier in the first half with a cool finishing after a great pass from Rowan Human, in what was end-to-end stuff.

Uthongathi equalized with two minutes before half time, after a Maritzburg defender handled the ball in the box and Sarr calmly finished from 12 yards.

The Cane Cutters came back from half time much stronger and they put pressure on the Maritzburg defence.

It paid off after an hour mark, when an acrobatic kick was diverted by Thato Mohlamme towards the goals, to put Uthongathi ahead for the first time in the match.

Hlongwane’s predatory proved to be key for Maritzburg as he pounced from a scramble inside the box, to equalize in the dying minutes of the match.

The Team of Choice subsequently won the match 4-2 on penalties, thanks to the heroics of Marcel Engelhardt, who saved two penalties.

In the second quarter-final Royal AM locked horns with Richards Bay, in a match that also required penalties to find a winner.

Royal AM’s goals were scored by Tshepo Liphoko and Tebogo Reed, while Sakhile Hlongwane scored a brace for the Natal Rich Boys.

Liphoko opened the scoring inside five minutes of the match after a good interplay between Elias Pelembe and Kabelo Mahlasela.

Serame Moeketsi’s charges kept on pilling pressure on their opponents and they left their defence unattended and Hlongwane found the equalizer late in the first half.

The Natal Rich Boys were brimming in confidence as they scored their second goal of the afternoon with Hlongwane beating his marker and the goalkeeper on the near post.

Reed, who came in the second half scored from the spot after a foul inside the box to make it 2-2 in the 65th minute.

Royal AM won the match 5-4 on penalties after Richards Bay captain Siphamandla Mtolo missed his spot kick.

Maritzburg United will clash with Royal AM in the second semi-final on Sunday at 12h00, with the winner facing either Golden Arrows or AmaZulu in the final.

By Wonga Sirayi

FARPost’s KZN Reporter