Nkoana winner against Vasco da Gama takes SuperSport United into the next round of the Nedbank Cup
SuperSport United defeated a steely Vasco da Gama 2-1 to reach the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday night.
Mor Diouf, the hero of the Tshwane derby, became the villain for SuperSport when some poor defending from the centre-back in the 20th minute led to the opening goal for Vasco’s Roberto Santo.
Despite some nervy play from SuperSport, Mark Haskins was able to find the equaliser in the 38th minute with a sublime finish.
Gavin Hunt’s side struggled to impose themselves and spurned numerous chances, but with 10 minutes to go Thabiso Nkoana kept his composure and scored what proved to be the winning goal for the defending champions.
Vasco da Gama, the only Cape Town based side left in the competition, defied SuperSport United’s early domination and created chances of their own in the opening period of the first half.
A shock result looked on the cards in the 20th minute when Roberto Santo curled in a free kick which was poorly dealt with by Mor Diouf and somehow found its way into the net off the inside of the post, past a stranded Ronwen Williams.
Vasco began to pile forward following the goal, putting a lackluster Matsatsantsa outfit under increased pressure.
SuperSport found it difficult to create any kind of space in the final third as the first half continued, with Gavin Hunt looking increasingly frustrated on the sidelines.
But Mark Haskins finished off a sublime move from Matsatsantsa as the half entered its 38th minute, putting the game on equal terms once more and settling Hunt’s nerves.
Haskins goal resulted from a string of slick passes which created space for the striker in the box, allowing him to touch the ball past the defender and beat Gershin Kock with a deft finish into the bottom right corner of the net.
SuperSport increased the pressure in the second half with substitute Thabiso Nkoana testing Kock with a low drive on the sixty minute mark.
Matsatsantsa continued to strive for the winner, but brave defending from Vasco defied Hunt’s side until the 81st minute when Nkoana shrugged off Brent Adonis in the box and fired home with a powerful left footed drive.