Williams the hero as SuperSport win MTN8 final on penalties

SuperSport United goalkeeper Ronwen Williams made two saves in his side’s 4-2 penalty shootout victory in the MTN8 final over Cape Town City at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night

The victory earned the Tshwane club a winners’ cheque and saw them claim a second top eight title. It was also revenge for last season’s defeat to an Eric Tinkler-coached City in the Telkom Knockout final.

Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town side led Saturday’s game for over an hour after Sibusiso Masina had given them the lead midway through the first half, before Thabo Mnyamane’s 79th-minute equaliser sent the match into extra time. SuperSport had to play the remainder of the night with 10 men after Mnyamane went off injured immediately after scoring.

Although Matsatsantsa had more of the play in the opening stanza, City had the better chances, starting in the 12th minute when Lehlohonolo Majoro was inches away from sliding in Masina’s through ball.

It was against the run of play that Benni McCarthy’s team took the lead on 22 minutes when Masina collected a pass from the left by Ebrahim Seedat and brilliantly pocketed the ball in at the far post.

Seedat came to his side’s rescue 10 minutes later when he cleared a goal-bound Bradley Grobler shot off the line, after goalkeeper Shu-aib Walters failed to clear a cross into the box.

READ MORE: Eric Tinkler announced as new coach of SuperSport

Cape Town City continued to look dangerous when they got some momentum going forward and it took some sharp goalkeeping from Williams to keep Lyle Lakay from doubling the lead in the 36th minute.

Chances came in regular succession after the restart as Walters saved at the feet of Aubrey Modiba, before Majoro wasted a chance on the hour mark to double City’s lead when he stabbed the ball wide from close range after a Lakay cross.

Mnyamane then blazed a pile-driver just over the bar before Majoro squandered another opening with a poor first touch after Teko Modise played him in.

It was Mnyamane who levelled the game 11 minutes from the end of regulation time after he ran onto Grobler’s clever through ball, his first touch perfect before he rolled a cool, composed finish past Walters.

But it was to be the goal-scorer’s last action of the night as a groin injury saw him stretchered off, leaving the Pretoria side with only 10 men as Tinkler had already made three substitutes.

With no further opportunities, the final went into extra time and the Citizens took advantage of their numerical superiority to gain a hold of proceedings against an increasingly weary SuperSport team – a host of their players struggling with cramps which at times left them down to just eight or nine men.

The Cape team, however, were wasteful with their finishing as Lakay fired a free kick over the bar before Judas Moseamedi scuffed an effort wide from a good position in the box five minutes before the end of the second period of extra time.

Williams proved to be the match-winner, ensuring the prize money went back to Pretoria after he brilliantly saved both Lakay and Moseamedi’s spot kicks. Grobler, Dean Furman, Tebogo Mokoena and Dove Wome all scored their penalties for SuperSport, who add the 2017 MTN8 trophy to the Nedbank Cup they won at the end of last season.

Source: African News Agency (ANA)