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21 Apr 2008 08:40
AmaZulu striker Mpho Maleka netted thrice in an enthralling Nedbank Cup quarterfinal match to help his team beat Black Leopards 3-2 at their home ground, the Thohoyandou Stadium, on Sunday.
Leopards started off briskly and took the lead through Christopher Netshidzivhe in the 19th minute. Mulondo Sikhwivhilu doubled the lead in the 32nd minute before Maleka netted in the 37th and 41st minutes to level the scores.
It was end-to-end stuff as both teams looked for another goal to settle the clash, but the strikers were narrowly missing the target.
Netshidzivhe scored from outside the box with a stunning effort while Sikhwivhilu was smartly set up by Fisher Kondowe for Leopards’ second.
AmaZulu fought back gallantly and Maleka was at the end of two quality crosses to level matters for his team before half-time.
With 10 minutes to go, man-of-the-match Maleka pounced on a loose ball in the box to send his team into the semifinals together with MP Black Aces, Mamelodi Sundowns and Free State Stars.
Former Bafana Bafana star John “Shoes” Moshoeu replaced the hat-trick hero and almost scored in the dying minutes of the game. His effort was disallowed as he was adjudged to be offside, but Amazulu did not need another goal and held on tensely for their place in the next round.—Sapa
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