Maritzburg United got their Nedbank Cup campaign under way with a 4-2 win on penalties over University of Pretoria at the Tuks Stadium on Saturday night.The game started with pace, and both sides showed more determination and desire for a goal. Tuks threatened United's goal in the first five minutes, but captain Dipsy Selolwane failed to hit the target with his attempt.
Maritzburg United nearly took the lead in the 7th minute when Mthokozisi Yende found himself in the box, and thundered a shot that was parried away for a corner by Tuks keeper Washington Arubi.
The home side dominated possession in the first 15 minutes, but it was United who visited Arubi's goals in the 16th minute. United's number 15 unleashed the shot just outside the box, but Arubi was again equal to the task and parried to safety.
Tuks captain Selolwane beat two defenders in the 29th minute, and he lobbed the ball past Shuaib Walters, but again failed to hit the target.
Tuks' striker Mame Niang's powerful header came off the upright in the 36th minute, and Walters knew nothing about it. Ernst Middendorp's men won a freekick moments later, and Dillon Sheppard's freekick nearly troubled Tuks keeper Arubi, but he did enough to block it.
However both Tuks and United couldn't break the deadlock in the first 45 minutes, as the scoreline remained 0-0.
The second half got underway, and both sides completed some good passes in the middle of the park, however they both lost possession in the final third. Cuthbert Malajila should have done better in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, however he couldn't connect with the ball, and his poor shot went wide.
United found a way on the left hand side, and Delron Buckley whipped in some good crosses, but Tuks' defence stood firm. Dipsy Selolwane made another attempt on the hour mark, but the Botswana international again failed to hit the target.
Tuks should have stole the game in the 79th minute but Mame Niang missed a sitter inside the 6 yard, after all the hard work from Aubrey Mngoma.
Both teams looked unlikely to score in the last 10 minutes of the game, as they failed to create any clear scoring opportunities. The score remained 0-0 after 90 minutes, and the game had to go to the extra time.
Extra time got underway, and players from both sides were showing signs of fatigue. The game lacked pace. However, Tuks wanted it more, and continued to create opportunities for their strikers, but Mame Niang failed to hit the target.
Maritzburg United stayed behind, and never pushed forward in the opening half of the extra time, and not suprisingly both teams were goalless in the first 15 minutes.
Tuks substitute, David Radebe tried his luck from outside the box in the 111th minute, but he also failed to trouble Walters, as his shot went wide.
Buckley nearly came up with an opeing goal in the 117th minute, but his well taken volley was fisted away for a corner by Tuks stopper Washington Arubi.
With a minute to go on the clock, Niang was perfectly found by Tuks' Sekotlong with a deep cross, but the Senegalese man again missed with a header that hit the framework.
That proved to be the last opportunity of the match,and the winner was then going to be decided on penalties. Maritzburg United advanced to the last 16 of this year's Nedbank Cup with a 4-2 win in the shootout.