United edge through on penalties

2014-07-20 15:00

SuperSport United staged two comebacks to lift the Gauteng Football Cup on penalties yesterday.

Kenyan trialist Michael Olunga converted in sudden death with other successful conversions coming from Brandon Dean, Thabani Mthembu and Edwin Gyimah, while Lebogang Manyana, Thabo Septembe and Thamsanqa Teyise missed.

Sundowns’ Themba Zwane, Mario Booysens, Tebogo Langerman and Musa Nyatama gave United the advantage.

But in the end it was a bit unfair to the paying fans as the final was too tactical in a tournament that should serve as preseason practise.

Coach Pitso Mosimane played a full-strength team and arrived in Atteridgeville yesterday on the back of a fruitful tour of Zimbabwe, where they defeated top sides Dynamos, Caps United and Highlanders last week.

The Brazilians demolished Swallows 5-0 to set up yesterday’s final.

Mosimane unveiled new players – Lindokuhle Mbatha from Platinum Stars, Asavela Mbekile (Swallows), Siyanda Zwane (Golden Arrows), Luyolo Nomandela (Free State Stars) and Mario Booysens (Maritzburg United).

But they showed they still have a lot of spadework to do considering they sneaked into the top eight on the final day of last season. Even yesterday, they overturned a 2-0 deficit to beat AmaTuks 5-4 on penalties to reach the final.

Coach Cavin Johnson also paraded his side’s new acquisitions – Michael Morton from Maritzburg, Lerato Manzini and Clayton Daniels (both Bloemfontein Celtic), and Thato Mokeke (Ajax Cape Town).

For Swallows and AmaTuks, the Gauteng Cup was a new beginning.

Swallows coach Zeca Marques said he was building from scratch after the club released 10 players, including Bafana midfielder Mbekile.

Swallows new foreign players are goalkeeper Obren Cuckovic from Serbia, defender Boris Savic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Vladimir Mandic (Slovenia), Kevin Obakwa (Kenya) and Peter Nwadike (Nigeria), as well as locals Tsietsi Mahoa (Celtic) and Lantshene Phalane (Platinum Stars).

Nwadike is on trial and Marques said he would also try out a Brazilian striker in next week’s inaugural Cape Town Soccer Challenge.

AmaTuks coach Steve Barker used yesterday’s tournament to test young players.

»?Meanwhile, South Africa Under-17 played to a goalless draw against Tanzania in Dar es Salam on Friday in the first leg of the 2015 African Youth Championship qualifiers.

The return leg will take place in South Africa in a fortnight.

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