CAPE TOWN – Rookie National First Division (NFD) side Ubuntu Cape Town pulled off the first big upset in the Nedbank Cup when they defeated PSL campaigners Polokwane City 3-2 in a last-32 tie at the Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night.
With the score locked at 2-2 after 90 minutes, the game stretched into extra time, where the Cape side’s Siyambonga Madikane popped up with the winning goal six minutes before the close.
It was a fantastic result for Ubuntu, who are currently stone last on the NFD standings. Their performance, though, belied their lowly log position.
Ubuntu were unfortunate to concede an early goal when Polokwane's Salulani Phiri’s cool finish from the edge of the area found the net.
As a result, the rookie Cape club were immediately on the back foot – but to their credit, they never dropped their heads.
Despite the elevated status of the opposition, Ubuntu fought back bravely, always threatening on the counter.
An excellent pass from Kamohelo Mahlatsi saw veteran Franklin Cale played into space, but the 34-year-old unfortunately stabbed his attempt agonisingly wide.
A few minutes later, the Capetonians had another opportunity when Khanyiso Mayo had a shot at goal, but again it was wide.
Five minutes before halftime, more excellent work from Mahlatsi created another opening for Mayo, but this time the forward fired over the bar.
But with Ubuntu piling on the pressure, something had to give, and it did seconds before the break when Ranga Chivaviro scored to level at 1-1.
Four minutes into the second half, the unheralded Cape side forged into the lead when Cale’s corner was headed in by Chivariro.
Things kept going Ubuntu’s way when Polokwane were reduced to 10 men in the 60th minute, with defender Sibusiso Mbonani red-carded for an elbow in the face of Chivariro.
But rather than disadvantaging the team from Limpopo, being a man down served only to galvanise them.
And in the 67th minute, when Ubuntu goalkeeper Buti Khoza failed to deal with a cross, the ball fell to Polokwane substitute Walter Musona, who gleefully tucked the ball into the net to make it all square at 2-2.
Neither team could find a winner in the closing stages, and in the end, it needed the 30-minute period of extra time to separate the teams.