DURBAN – Revenge, so the saying goes, is a dish best served cold. And boy how City enjoyed exacting vengeance on SuperSport here on Saturday night.
Just as they were beaten by Matsatsantsa in this season-opening tournament last year, the Citizens treated the Pretoria outfit to a taste of their own medicine by overcoming them through the lottery of shoot-outs from the penalty.
It should never really have gotten to that stage though, City having thoroughly dominated the match throughout, from the start all the way to the end of extra-time.
While the teams went into the break deadlocked at no goals, there was no shortage of goalmouth action in the first stanza, with SuperSport creating the most chances.
There was an early opportunity for the holders from a free kick but veteran defender Bongani Khumalo headed off target. Almost immediately, his teammate Fagrie Lakay also sent a shot wide of the City goals. Lakay left the action prematurely due to injury late in the half and was replaced by Zambian Ghampani Lungu.
And then Evans Rusike tested Peter Leeuwenburgh with a powerful low shot but the Dutch goalkeeper showed his class with a good safe on the half-hour mark.
The pendulum then swung the Citizens’ way in the latter stages of the first half and Thabo Nodada rattled the post with his attempt following a swift counter-attack.
With ten minutes of the half left to play, Ayanda Patosi received a fantastic pass from Gift Links and all the Bafana Bafana attacker had to do was simply pass the ball into the net. But Patosi directed his attempt over with Ronwen Williams at his mercy.
Benni McCarthy’s team generally enjoyed the upper hand, as they attacked with much more purpose throughout the match.
In the second half, they also asked questions of the champions’ defence but just did not take advantage. Ten minutes after the break, Patosi set up Emilson Dove but the Mozambican’s shot from close range towards the near post found Williams’ outstretched leg blocking it from going in.
That start seemed to set City on fire and they piled on the pressure, dictating matters in the second half but not succeeding where it mattered most – finding the opposition net.
They almost did some six minutes from the end of normal time when Gift Links swivelled well to half volley the ball following great work by Emilson.
While his attempt left Williams standing still and resigned to scooping the ball from inside the net, the ball incredibly ricocheted off the inside of the posts and back into play.
Such misses often leave a team dispirited and feeling it just is not their night.
But City kept on attacking and were the team pushing forward in search of that winning goal in the 30 minutes of extra-time.
It never came though Riyaad Norodien did threaten with a super free kick from range that skimmed just over Williams’ goal and went over. In the end City, despite their dominance, were left to try and get their maiden silverware under McCarthy’s tutelage via the game’s equivalent of the lottery – shoot-out from the penalty spot.
And they did it so well, their takers super calm and Leewenburgh putting up a great showing that far belied the little work he had to do throughout the match.
SuperSport United - 0
Cape Town City - 0
City win 4-1 via the penalty shoot-out
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/56f7l7MiGl