Bongani Mpandle helped Maritzburg United get past Wits in the Telkom Knockout. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Maritzburg United (0) 1

Bidvest Wits (0) 1

Maritzburg United won 3-1 on penalties 

Bongani Mpandle turned from a villain to a hero for Maritzburg United.

Mpandle saved two penalties as the Team of Choice bundled out Bidvest Wits in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.

The game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes and the home side emerged as 3-1 winners via penalties.

Mpandle denied Phathutshedzo Nange and Mxolisi Macupu while Sifiso Hlanti blazed his effort over the bar.

Siyanda Xulu, Daylon Claasen and Judas Moseamedi all converted for the Team of Choice.

The ever-reliable, Richard Ofori started on the bench while Mpandle was given the nod between the sticks.

Mpandle was shaky and sloppy with his handling and ball distribution. He was a mistake waiting to happen.

Ofori was sent to warm-up in the first half which was a clear indication that Tinkler was sensing danger but he kept faith on Mpandle who gained confidence as the game proceeded.

Maritzburg made one error after another in the first half but the Clever Boys failed to make them pay.

Both teams failed conjure up any meaningful chances as Wits couldn't turn their possession in to goals.

Second half really came to life in 57th minutes when Terrence Dzvukamanja headed his side into the lead. Thabang Monare delivered an exquisite corner kick from the left and the Zimbabwean rose the highest to break the deadlock.

The Team of Choice responded quickly as they snatched the equaliser two minutes after they conceded the opener. It was a lovely finish by Thabiso Kutumela to beat Ricardo Goos between the sticks for Wits.

Thulani Hlatshwayo was penalised for handling the ball inside the box and Kutumela showed a great composure to put his side back in to the game.

United faithful were running out of patience with Jeremy Brockie and they were rolling their hands as a sign that he should be substitued. Tinkler responded in the last minutes of the game when he took off Brockie and replaced him with Moseamedi.

Extra-time didn't produce any clear-cut scoring for both sides. They lacked spark and agency.

@minenhlecr7


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