Report: Cape Town All Stars 2-2 Pretoria Callies (Callies won 5-4 on penalties)
Date: 14 March 2021
Venue: Danie Craven Stadium
Pretoria Callies advanced to their first Nedbank Cup semi-finals with a penalty shoot-out victory over fellow GladAfrica Championship outfit Cape Town All Stars at Danie Craven Stadium on Sunday.
Callies were rescued by their captain Itumeleng Lesu, who made two excellent saves in quick succession in the opening exchanges.
First, All Stars midfielder Phineos Neo Mphuthi rose highest to meet Ronaldo Maarman's free-kick and Lesu got down quickly to his left to palm it away with Booysen playing it back to Thabo Makhele, who lashed an effort with great power towards the left-hand upright and Lesu pulled off a terrific reflex save.
In the 33rd minute All Stars striker Waseem Isaacs, on loan from Stellenbosch FC, was played through on goal with a brilliant throughball from midfield and he raced through on goal before rounding the goalkeeper into an empty net.
Atusaye Nyondo was then denied when he headed an exquisite delivery from the left-hand side towards the top left-hand corner but All Stars keeper Keenan Peters pulled off a wonderful diving save to deny the Callies striker.
All Stars midfielder Colin Ryan then tested Lesu with a stinging long-range drive that the keeper did well to punch away as it was dipping and swerving to keep the score at 1-0 to Callies going into the break.
It was all level in the 68th minute. Pule Motsetse delivered an excellent ball into the box and substitute Pogiso Mahlangu got goalside of his marker and powered his header emphatically down the centre of goal and into the back of the net for his fourth goal in the cup this season and takes his tally in all competitions to nine.
However, the home side responded immediately to restore their lead. Khomotso Marebane was fouled on the edge of the box by Moremi Seketso. Ronaldo Maarman whipped in the free-kick from the right-hand side and Maraisane headed home into the bottom right corner.
In another twist, Callies equalised in the 89th minute. Thabo Moloi took the long-throw and the All Star defence let it bounce with Edwin Sitayitayi reacting quickest and volleying the ball delicately past Peters to take the game to extra-time.
Callies were dealt a blow in the 110th minute when Aupa Moeketsi was given his marching orders for a horrible challenge on Dillon Solomons.
Five minutes before the end of extra-time Solomons, who had been highly influential since coming on, played in Sabelo Nyembe and his toe-poked effort from an angle was well saved by the legs of Lesu.
The sides could not be separated and it went to penalties where Keorapetse Sebone slotted the decisive penalty in sudden death to break the hearts of the hosts.