Royal AM Beat Tuks To Set Up Nedbank Cup Semifinal Against Sundowns.. Royal AM came from two goals down to beat University of Pretoria 3-2 in Sunday’s Nedbank Cup quarterfinal at Chatsworth Stadium and set up a tasty semifinal against Mamelodi Sundowns.
The other semifinal will be a Limpopo derby between Tshakuma FC and holders Marumo Gallants. The draw was conducted directly after the last quarterfinal at Chatsworth Stadium.
The dates and venues for the last four matches of the R7m cup will be announced by the league later this week.
Promotion-chasing GladAfrica Championship outfit Tuks were left heartbroken after they took a two-goal lead in the first half only to lose with Mfundo Thikazi’s last kick of a dramatic match against Royal.
Wonderboy Makhubu opened the scoring with a free header in front of three ball-watching defenders in the 19th minute and completed his brace with a calm finish inside the box in the 27th in front of the few thousand fans braving the wet and cold in Chatsworth.
Royal’s stirring fightback produced goals from Victor Letsoalo (58th and 79th) and Thikazi’s last-gasp winner in the 94th.
AmaTuks started on the front foot and took the game to Royal. The Durban team were mostly disjointed to start and puddles of water on the pitch did not allow for their signature passing game.
In the difficult conditions Tuks boxed smart in the first half and did not look like a team playing in a division lower that Royal.
The inclement weather did not deter Royal owner and businesswoman Shauwn Mkhize, who stood watching on the grass bank on the far side of the stadium under an umbrella held by a club official for the duration of the match.
It was not a first half performance that Mkhize is used to at home and she understandably looked distressed given that Royal have only lost one match at their Chatsworth fortress this season.
Royal completely dominated proceedings in the second half. They were met with staunch defending but in the end their Premiership experience came through for them.
Royal came out guns blazing from the break and AmaTuks tried to dig in until visiting keeper Dumisani Msibi cleaned out Letsoalo in the box trying to catch a ball and referee Jelly Chavani pointed to the spot. Letsoalo stood up and converted the penalty to set up an intriguing remaining half-hour.
The Bafana Bafana striker added another 20 minutes later. With the match headed for extra time, substitutes Tebogo Potsane and Thikazi combined in the last minute of the match, the latter scoring after received a neat pass from the former.
AmaTuks, who lost the 2009 final against Swallows, will hope their Nedbank Cup run can inspire them to win promotion back to the DStv Premiership.
The Pretoria side face Richards Bay in Tshwane on Wednesday in a GladAfrica Championship top-of-the-table clash. Bay are top on 43 points while Tuks are a point behind with six matches remaining for both teams.