Aces out­play United

Team of Choice’s spurned op­por­tu­ni­ties see them go down 2- 1 in Ned­bank Cup last 32 clash

The Witness - Wheels - - SPORT -

MBOMBELA — Goals from Lehlo­honolo Nonyane and Dino Ndlovu took Black Aces to a 2- 1 win over Mar­itzburg United in a Ned­bank Cup last 32 clash at Mbombela Sta­dium last night.

Aces al­most opened the scor­ing in the open­ing minute through Collins Mbe­suma, but Vir­gil Vries pulled off a great save to deny the Zam­bian an early goal.

Mar­itzburg soon cre­ated a chance of their own for Tham­sanqa Mkhize, but Lehlo­honolo Nonyane cleared the striker’s ef­fort off the goal line.

And the early at­tacks kept com­ing, as in the 12th minute great in­ter­play be­tween Mbe­suma and Dino Ndlovu saw the lat­ter handed a fine chance, only for Vries to make an­other ex­cel­lent save.

Aces looked the more con­fi­dent and cre­ative of the two teams and they de­servedly claimed the lead on 26 min­utes when Nonyane curled home a per­fectly- placed shot di­rect from a free kick just out­side the box.

Mar­itzburg’s Mondli Cele and De­olin Mekoa had chances to level the game up be­fore the break but goal­keeper Jack­son Mabokg­wane was equal to the task, while Ndlovu al­most added to AmaZay­oni’s ad­van­tage in in­jury time at the end of the first half.

The Team of Choice had a chance to equalise early in the sec­ond half when Phi­lani Zulu found him­self with only the goal­keeper to beat, but he was un­able to beat Mabokg­wane from close range.

The vis­i­tors were made to pay for their spurned op­por­tu­ni­ties when Ndlovu dou­bled Aces’ lead on the hour mark with a su­perbly taken goal that saw him turn two de­fend­ers and fire the ball into the bot­tom cor­ner of the net.

Ndlovu was soon re­placed by fel­low Aces debu­tant Siyabonga Vi­lane, as the for­mer Su­perS­port United striker is still work­ing his way back to full fit­ness. How­ever, the home fans were not happy to see his evening end so soon.

United kept fight­ing and gave them­selves hope of a dra­matic come­back when Ghana­ian striker Mike Mo­hammed Anas pulled a goal back in the 75th minute, set­ting up a nervy fi­nal quar­ter hour. How­ever, the Team of Choice were ham­pered in their ef­forts to gain par­ity af­ter mid­fielder Ryan de Jongh was sent off for a sec­ond book­able of­fence, al­low­ing the hosts to see out the game and ad­vance to the next round.

PHOTO: GALLO IMAGES

Mondli Cele of Mar­itzburg United dur­ing Ned­bank Cup Last 32 match be­tween Black Aces and Mar­itzburg United at Mbombela Sta­dium last night in Nel­spruit.

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