Cape Town - Cape Town City claimed their first MTN8 title after they defeated SuperSport United 4-1 on penalties (0-0 after extra time) at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
The result is a reverse of last year’s MTN8 final, which was won on spot kicks by Matsatsantsa. This time around, the Citizens were the better team through the two hours of play, but were unable to make their dominance reflect on the scoreboard.
However, in the shootout, goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenbergh proved his worth with two saves from Bradley Grobler and Reneilwe Letsholonyane, allowing Thabo Nodada to fire home the decisive penalty and secured the R8 million cheque for the Cape side.
United looked the more dangerous team from the start of the game, but they needed 30 minutes to finally call Leeuwenbergh into significant action, with the Dutchman having to dive low to his right to keep out a drive from Evans Rusike.
That close shave sparked the Citizens into life at the other end, as they created three scoring opportunities in quick succession. First, in the 32nd minute, Nodada hit the post with a long range drive and Siphelele Mthembu was unable to turn home the rebound.
Just a minute later Roland Putsche arrived late in the penalty area to meet a great cross from Dove Edmilson, but he skewed his header high and wide, and a short while later Gift Links teed up Ayanda Patosi, but the playmaker ballooned his shot over the target.
SuperSport were dealt an injury blow near the end of the first half, as Fagrie Lakay limped off and was replaced by Ghampani Lungu. The teams were locked 0-0 at the interval.
City had a great chance to break the deadlock early in the second stanza when a counter attack ended with Craig Martin heading over the bar after meeting a great floated cross from Links, while in the 56th minute Edmilson worked space for a shot on goal but saw his effort well saved by Ronwen Williams.
The Cape side continued to create the better chances and in the 85th minute they again struck the woodwork: Edmilson’s deflected cross from the left fell kindly for Links, who swivelled and struck a volley, only to see it rebound off the bar.
That proved to be the last clear chance for either team, with the match going to a lacklustre 30 minutes of extra time in which it was clear that the players’ legs had been worn out by the heavy, wet pitch.