Defending champions SuperSport United became the first team to book their place in the MTN8 semifinals following a 3-2 win over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at the Thohoyandou Stadium in Limpopo on Saturday.
Goals from Bradley Grobler, Iqraam Rayners and Gamphani Lungu spearheaded Matsatsantsa to victory. Mogakolodi Ngele scored a brace for the Limpopo club.
Having started the game with just three players on their bench due to reported registration issues in the build up to the match, things went from bad to worse for TTM as SuperSport raced into a comfortable lead.
Grobler continued from where he left off in the competition last season. Lungu darted past Brandon Theron before teeing up the forward who made no mistake from close range with just eight minutes on the clock.
Rayners doubled the visitors’ lead in the 28th minute. Having missed from point-blank range moments earlier, the former Stellenbosch forward made amends with a superb strike past Brighton Mhlongo to celebrate his SuperSport debut with a goal.
Lungu made it three five minutes later. The impressive Zambian ended last season with a bang and showed his quality inside the penalty area with a well-taken goal.
Ngele reduced the deficit on the cusp of half time with a trademark left-footed finish. Lerato Lamola set up the Botswana international who rifled a fierce shot past Ronwen Williams who remained rooted to his spot.
SuperSport started the second half as they did the first and only a great save from Mhlongo denied Lungu a double in the 52nd minute.
Teboho Mokoena then missed a gilt-edged chance and SuperSport were almost made to rue not having taken their opportunities in front of goal.
Ngele made it a one-goal game in the 56th minute as he nodded home from a corner-kick and, to their credit, TTM were the better team for the rest of the game.
Lamola had a chance to send the match into extra-time after racing through on goal late on, but Williams pulled off a great last-ditch save deny the forward and book SuperSport’s place in the next round.
TTM (1) 2 (Ngele 44′ 56′)
SuperSport United (3) (Grobler 8′ Rayners 28′ Lungu 33′)
TTM: Mhlongo; Theron, Nonyane, Nkili, Lukhubeni, Timm, Maphangule, Ngema, Ngele (Manaka 79′), Lamola, Shonga.
SuperSport United: Williams; Bhasera, Khumalo, Daniels, Kekana (Phillips 46′), Mokoena, Webber, Rayners, Lungu, Gabuza (Mohomi 46′), Grobler.