Stars Clinch First-Ever Nedbank Cup Title
Nedbank Cup Final Report: Maritzburg United v Free State Stars 19 May 2018
Result: Maritzburg United 0-1 Free State Stars
Date: 19 May 2018
Venue: Cape Town Stadium
Free State Stars have clinched their first-ever Nedbank Cup title after defeating Maritzburg United 1-0 in the final at the Cape Town Stadium.
Click through the gallery to see the highlights of the game.
Siphelele Mthembu had the first shot in anger for Ea Lla Koto in the third minute with a half-volley from just outside the box, but goalkeeper Richard Ofori collected with ease.
Maritzburg were playing good flowing football going forward but lacked the penetration in the final third, while Stars were playing deep towards half-an-hour, looking to absorb the pressure and hit on counter-attacks.
Bevan Fransman came close to breaking the deadlock seven minutes before half-time for Fadlu Davids’ charges with a glancing header inside the area but Stars goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni made a good save in the bottom corner.
Goodman Dlamini got the breakthrough for Stars a minute before the break with an impressive curling strike into a gaping net after Sinethemba Jantjie played a defence-splitting pass, 0-1.
Bandile Shandu had a good crack at goal six minutes after the break for United but his fierce effort sailed narrowly wide.
Luc Eymael’s troops were notably staying deep in their own half towards the hour-mark, looking to exploit United on the break as the KZN outfit were attacking in numbers.
Andrea Fileccia almost leveled matters for the Team of Choice 20 minutes before time with a left-footed snap shot that sailed into the side-netting.
The game was swinging from end to end with 10 minutes left on the clock as United threw the kitchen sink at Stars, who were dangerous on the break.
Siyanda Xulu missed a sitter for United three minutes before time as he somehow placed his bicycle-kick effort over the crossbar from three yards out as Stars held on for the win and their first-ever Nedbank title.
Here's how they line up:
Maritzburg: 31. Ofori, 16. Fransman, 25. Xulu, 26. Shandu, 3. Sanoka, 15, Maboe, 23. De Reuck, 11. Makaringe, 8. Ndlovu, 9. Fileccia, 28. Mekoa.
Subs: 1. Mpandle, 18. Eksteen, 14. Matima, 36. Kunene, 22. Mokate, 10. Atouba, 6. Tlhone.
Stars: 32. Ngobeni, 5. Masehe, 2. Mobbie, 28. Mahamutsa, 22. Keita, 29. Phungwayo, 21. Mthembu, 27. Tchilimbou, 26. Dlamini, 11. Jantjie, 50. Vilakazi.
Subs: 23. Sangare, 4. Makhaula, 6. Teyise, 3. Anas, 20. Mashego, 35. Klaas, 39. Cosse.