By Siboniso Mawandla
Maritzburg United stunned Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in a 2017 MTN8 Cup quarterfinal match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday.
The hard-fought win sees the Team of Choice join Bidvest Wits, Cape Town City and SuperSport United in the semifinals, while the Brazilians are eliminated from the competition.
The game got off to a lively start with the two sides playing at a high tempo and both goalkeepers called into action in the first 15 minutes of the encounter.
Sundowns forward Khama Billiat made a good run into the United box, before forcing goalkeeper Bongani Mpandle into a comfortable save.
At the other end two minutes later Maritzburg midfielder Lebohang Maboe unleashed a thunderous shot which was well saved by Sundowns keeper Kennedy Mweene.
The two teams were battling for control of the midfield with Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana looking to stamp his authority in the middle of the park.
Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela could not fault his team despite their 1-0 loss to SuperSport United in the MTN8 quarter-finals on Saturday.
Kiwi assassin Jeremy Brockie got the goal six minutes in after latching onto a floated pass from strike partner Bradley Grobler.
SuperSport were otherwise on the back foot, as Chiefs trio Hendrick Ekstein, Bernard Parker and Siphiwe Tshabalala all struck the woodwork at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Komphela said: “As we are walking up here [to the press room], somebody said to me; ‘nothing is wrong but something is not right’. And I’m saying, but wait a minute… that is confusing. ‘Nothing is wrong but something is not right’, so what you can say.
Current holders Wits’ bid to hold on to their MTN8 trophy will continue in a potential tricky away clash to Cape Town City at the end of the month after the semifinal draw pitted the two sides against each other on Sunday afternoon.
The matches will be played on the weekend of 26-27 August.
MTN8 Semifinal Draw:
Cape Town City v Bidvest Wits; SuperSport United v Maritzburg United