Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila became the first team to qualify for the Nedbank Cup semi-finals after coming from two goals down to beat SuperSport United 3-2 after extra-time at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Friday night.
Kaitano Tembo’s DStv Premiership outfit, who are five-time winners of the tournament, had been leading their GladAfrica Championship opponents by two goals, but TTM scored twice in the final 25 minutes to force extra time.
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila 3-2 AET SuperSport United
It was the first domestic professional football game with fans in over two years, and the first shot in anger fell to Jesse Donn in the seventh minute, but he shot wide.
TTM though were not being overawed by their top-flight opponents, and Biodun Alabi tried to place a shot in the ninth minute, but it was easy for Ronwen Williams to deal with. A minute later Gamphani Lungu shot over at the other end.
Donn was not to be denied in the 16th minute, a wonderful strike from the edge of the area by the SuperSport midfielder flew into the goal after he had been queued up by Aubrey Ngoma, who did some great work down the right.
Rhulani Manzini’s free kick in the 39th minute almost caused some problems but Williams was able to palm it over the goal.
Donn’s goal was the difference at the break, and SuperSport led 1-0, and it was almost by two goals three minutes into the second half but Selaelo Rasebotja’s shot from close range struck the upright and bounced out.
Ngoma was on target in the 51st minute, but Gershin Kock made a comfortable save.
SuperSport were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute when Ngoma was brought down by Nicolas Motlaoung. Lungu took the spot-kick and sent Kock the wrong way to make it 2-0.
Kegan Johannes went close to adding a third in the 67th minute, but his attempt went just over, and it looked like SuperSport were cruising to victory.
Tshakhuma though weren’t ready to give up and pulled a goal back in the 68th minute, when Tumi Ngwepe unleashed a great powerful volley that left Williams with no chance, 2-1.
Manzini’s free kick in the 71st minute bounced awkwardly in front of Williams, but the Matsantsana captain was able to gather, while Rasebotja’s effort a minute later was straight at Kock. Kock pulled off a good save in the 75th minute after Lungu tested him from the left.
TTM pushed for the equaliser, cheered on by the Thohoyandou fans, and the GladAfrica team finally broke through SuperSport’s defence in the 85th minute, Naeem Amoojee making a good run into the box before side-footing past Williams to make it 2-2.
Tshakhuma’s fightback had forced the game into extra time, and the home team were not done, and Lucky Nelukau’s team went into the lead ten minutes into the first half of extra time, after Tumelo Makha went through the defence and beat Williams to make it 3-2.
Luke Fleurs went just wide with a strong shot from outside the area in the 23rd minute, but time was now running out for SuperSport.
It was TTM who ended stronger, Makha was on target again in the 117th minute, but Williams saved, while Motloung’s shot two minutes later was always off target. His attempt in the final minute forced Williams into a top save. Manzini shot over from a free kick in stoppage time, and second later the final whistle blew and the celebrations in Limpopo began.
A remarkable comeback by the hosts, who book their place in the last four.