Champions Cape Town City knocked out of MTN8 by Polokwane City
CAPE TOWN – Defending MTN8 champions Cape Town City were dumped out of the 2019 tournament when they were beaten 2-0 by Polokwane City in a quarter-final clash at the Newlands Rugby Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
City won the competition last season, but found no joy on Saturday as a committed and determined Polokwane repelled all their attacks and then hit back effectively on the counter.
The Cape club dominated possession and territory in the opening stages as they went in search of an early goal.
The Cape side’s Dutch midfielder Chris David was particularly influential, with his passing and movement rather impressive.
For City, Craig Martin was his usual energetic presence down the right flank and, when he set up an opportunity for Thato Mokeke, the midfielder was unlucky not to score.
But, for all City’s pressure and possession, Polokwane’s defence stood firm. The visitors soaked up everything the Capetonians threw at them and then hit back swiftly.
It proved to be a clever strategy when, after yet another break, Polokwane took the lead in the 25th minute, with Mohammed Anas steering the ball into the corner of the net.
Stunned after going behind, City tried to hit back immediately, with Abbubaker Mobara creating an opening for Zukile Kewuti, but the youngster’s shot was deflected for a corner.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Cape side made a change as they looked to provide more attacking impetus. Striker Kermit Erasmus made his entrance in place of David.
But it was Polokwane who had the chance to increase their advantage when they were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute.
— Official PSL (@OfficialPSL)
Sibusiso Mbonani stepped up to take the spot-kick, but his attempt was saved by City’s Dutch goalkeeper Peter Leewenburgh.
Desperate to get back on terms, City then made another change in the 66th minute, with Surprise Ralani coming on for Tashreeq Morris.
Ralani had an immediate impact when he set up a chance for Kewuti, but again the youngster failed to make it count.
In a final throw of the dice, City coach Benni McCarthy made his third and final change, bringing on the physical presence of striker Siphelele Mthembu in place of left back Ebrahim Seedat.
In the 81st minute, Polokwane made a change, replacing goal-scorer Anas with Charlton Mashumba – and, four minutes later, the substitute condemned City to defeat when he scored to make it 2-0.
%%%twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/MTN8?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MTN8cup. Credit to the visitors who turned up at Newlands and put in a solid performance. The boys will look back at a huge opportunity missed. We go again in our next fixture against Sundowns. #iamCityFC pic.twitter.com/7gJ8N4eeRn
— Cape Town City FC (@CapeTownCityFC)