AmaTuks dump Moroka Swallows out of Nedbank Cup

Published Mar 14, 2024


University of Pretoria have become the first team to advance into the quarter-finals of the 2023-24 Nedbank Cup after they defeated Moroka Swallows 2-1 at the Tuks Stadium in Tshwane on Wednesday evening.

AmaTuks, who play in the second-tier Motsepe Foundation Championship, struck via Tebogo Mohlamonyane and Thabang Sibanyoni, and secured passage into the final eight of the national cup competition. They also extended their unbeaten run across all competitions to 14 matches.

As for the top-flight Birds, this defeat adds to their woes, with the Soweto side having failed to claim an outright win in 13 matches (in the previous round of the Nedbank Cup they defeated Platinum City Rovers on penalties). Their last victory was in November 2023.

The teams traded half-chances through the opening 20 minutes, before Swallows had the first genuine threat on goal when Ronald Sanou drove a powerful shot toward the top corner, but saw his effort tipped away by an excellent save from Tuks goalkeeper Edward Maova.

Tuks responded with a fine effort of their own in the 39th minute from Mohlamonyane, who cut inside from the right of the penalty area and shot on target, but Swallows goalkeeper Daniel Akepyi was well positioned to make a comfortable save.

The interval arrived with the score 0-0, as neither team had managed to truly find an attacking rhythm in a somewhat scrappy first half.

The Birds opted for a triple change at the start of the second stanza, as Frank Mhango, Lindokuhle Mtshali and Thakasani Mbanjwa were introduced to try and boost their attacking options.

However, AmaTuks were the more fluid team in the period after the restart, with Kamohelo Pheeane and Delano Abrahams both hitting the woodwork within 30 seconds of each other – the former with a looping header, and the latter with a low shot after meeting a cross from the right flank.

And the hosts kept up that momentum, deservedly claiming the lead on 57 minutes when Mohlamonyane latched onto a half-clearance and hit a left-footed volley through a crowded penalty area to find the back of the net and break the deadlock.

Swallows gradually built attacking pressure and duly levelled the game in the 79th minute via youngster Mbanjwa. The 17-year-old substitute provided a classy and composed left-footed finish from just inside the penalty area, after being teed up by a combination of Mhango and Sanou.

The match looked set for an extra 30 minutes, but in injury time a diagonal from Sikhosonke Langa found its way to substitute Thabang Sibanyoni, who cracked a low volley beyond Akpeyi to secure a famous win for AmaTuks.

The teams will return to league action in late March and early April – Swallows will be away to Cape Town Spurs on March 31 in the DStv Premiership, while Tuks will face Milford FC at home on April 2 in the MFC.