CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City are through to the second round of the CAF Confederation Cup after a 1-0 win over Swaziland's Young Buffaloes in a preliminary round, second tie played at the Athlone Stadium on Tuesday night. The result ensured a 2-0 aggregate victory for the Capetonians, having won the first leg 1-0 in Mbabane.
City rang the changes for this fixture, with central defender Taariq Fielies the only starter remaining from the team that played Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend. As such, there were opportunities with Tshepo Gumede, Vincent Kobola, Judas Moseamedi, Ebrahim Seedat, Surprise Ralani, captain Robyn Johannes and goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters.
Also, importantly, coach Benni McCarthy was again able to offer some game time to the club's two emerging youngsters, Shane Roberts and Zukile Kewuti.
While the Capetonians dominated proceedings, they found it tough to break down the resolute, hardworking Swazis. For City, Ralani and Roberts were particularly effective in the team's offensive moves - but, in the penalty area, Moseamedi and Sibusiso Masina lacked the composure to make the openings count.
Roberts showed some great touches at time, with his nifty feet bamboozling opponents, and on one occasion he was very unlucky when he flashed a shot wide of goal. Moseamedi also had an inviting chance from right in front, but curled his effort wide of goal.
Buffaloes had some good moments in the opening half - the best of which accrued to Promise Dlamini, but Walters was able to deny the midfielder with an acrobatic save. City brought on Craig Martin in place of Masina at the start of the second half, and his pace and energy immediately added some spark to the attack.
It was Roberts, though, who engineered the Cape side's goal when his through-ball found Ralani in space on the left flank, and the former Helsingborg winger made no mistake with an unerring finish.
City could have scored a few more, but substitute Nana Akosah-Bempah missed the easiest of chances from inside the five-yard area and Martin drilled a shot wide. It wasn't the most convincing of performances from City, but, in the end, they got the job done - and that's all that matters.