George Maluleka provided an assist for United's first goal before scoring with a sublime finish to help his team beat Swallows 3-1 in the Telkom KO on Saturday
Both SuperSport United and Moroka Swallows had a slow start to the first half of a rather physical encounter that saw the Dube Birds captain Lefa Tsutsulupa out injured in just less than 15 minutes into the game
On 11 minutes, the home side won a free-kick outside the Swallows’ penalty area after David Mathebula was brought down by Lerato Chabangu, but the former Chiefs midfielder couldn’t get his free-kick past the Greg Etafia’s wall.
Swallows had chances of their own afterwards; Larry Cohen fell short to converting Chabangu’s free-kick from the left hand side while Edward Manqele was let down by his first touch when the two United centre-back made an error at the back, and he allowed Bevan Fransman to recover and make good clearance.
Cohen was presented with an opportunity to put Swallows in front towards the 40th minute, but his poorly taken left footed shot was deflected for a corner, as it remained 0-0 at halftime.
United slightly improved their game in the second half; exploiting spaces on the wide areas, but often failed to get the ball into goalscoring areas.
Coach Johnson’s double substitution paid off almost immediately when George Maluleka brilliantly laid it off to Bradley Grobler for an easy tap-in just after the hour mark.
Swallows then hit back immediately and it was in the 63rd minute when Edward Manqele capitalized from Fransman’s poor clearance to level matters.
Grobler should have killed the game on 70 minutes after another defensive error from the Swallows defence, but the former Platinum Stars forward could not the target with only the net in front of him.
Etafia then pulled off a great save to deny Enocent Mkhabela from inside the Swallows box, as SuperSport United looked to avoid possible extra time.
Manqele then got a chance to put Swallows ahead with 10 minutes to go, but he shot straight into Ronwen Williams’ hands.
Thuso Phala beat Cohen with less than five minutes to go, but his shot lacked power and accuracy to beat Etafia, as the Swallows keeper needed a slightest of touches to concede a corner.
And that proved to be the last chance of the 90 minutes, as the game headed straight into extra time.
Dikgang Mabalane caught the ball with his hand outside his own box in the 93rd minute, and Maluleka’s well taken free-kick was brilliant tipped over the bar by Etafia.
Siyabonga Nomvethe broke down the left into the United box, but Sibusiso Khumalo made a fine block to cut his aimed-cross short.
Thuso Phala made amends for his second half miss and beat Etafia with a low shot in the near post in the 105th minute to send the home crowd wild.
SuperSport United then put the game to bed just after the restart of the second half of extra time when George Maluleka beat Cohen for pace from a long ball played before rounding Etafia for United’s third of the game.
Manqele was unfortunate a few minutes as his header came off the upright with Williams in no man’s land, but in the end it was SuperSport United who booked their place in the last four of the Telkom Knockout Cup.