Wednesday Feb 07, 2018. 22:01
AmaZulu are through to the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup after they defeated Mthatha Bucks 3-0 in a penalty shootout on Wednesday night.
The match at King Zwelithini Stadium ended 2-2 after extra time, before Usuthu showed their class in the shootout to join Cape Town City and Ubuntu Cape Town as early qualifiers to the next round.
The teams effectively cancelled each other out in the first half, with opportunities few and far between for the attacking players on the field.
The Eastern Cape side nearly snatched the lead in the 38th minute, with defender Mashale Rantabane heading just off target after meeting a fine free kick delivery from former PSL midfielder Angelo Kerspuy.
Bucks had another good effort early in the second half, with Mpho Erasmus driving a fine effort on goal, only to see the ball tipped over by Usuthu goalkeeper Boalefa Pule.
The visiting team’s pressure finally paid off in the 56th minute, with Rantabane again showing his aerial prowess: he got up highest to meet a corner kick from Siyabonga Dubula and this time directed his header into the back of the net.
However, AmaZulu responded strongly to going behind and on 65 minutes they drew level, with a strong run down the left flank by Jabulani Ncubeni teeing up Sadate Ouro-Akoriko to net the equaliser.
And the team in green nearly claimed the ascendancy five minutes later, but…