Maritzburg United advanced to the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup, knocking out Glad Africa Championship leaders Sekhukhune United with a 2-1 win.
Maritzburg United 2-1 Sekhukhune United
A strong second half performance saw Maritzburg beat Sekhukhune 2-1 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday
It was a goalless first half where the Glad Africa Championship leaders never looked overwhelmed by their top flight opponents,but neither Maritzburg debutant Marcel Engelhardt or Tapuwa Kapini in the Sekhukhune goal were really threatened.
Middendorp rung the changes at the break, making three subs, and mere seconds into the second half Tebogo Tlolane put Maritzburg into the lead, blasting in from close range after the visitors failed to clear their lines.
Either the goal, or something Middendorp said at the halftime break, sparked Maritzburg into life, and they began to show more intent.
Sibusiso Hlubi put Maritzburg two up in the 70th minute, Dan Morgan lobbing a high ball into the box and everyone stood and watched as Hlubi raced into the box, gathered the ball and beat Kapini.
Sibusiso Mbonani grabbed a consolation goal in stoppage time for the visitors, who deserved something in this game, and fought to the last minute.
Maritzburg advance to the last 16, while Sekhukhune, who rested a number of their regular players, can get their focus back on their promotion challenge.
Earlier in the day Pretoria Callies advanced to the last 16 as Pogiso Manhlangu scored in a 1-0 win over Royal AM.