UNITED FC booked their place in the Nedbank Cup last 32 with a hard fought 2-1 win over Roses United on Wednesday afternoon at the Moruleng Stadium.
The home side looked dangerous for large parts in the opening stanza, with striker Siyabulela Shai denied early on by the visiting keeper Teboho Matsonyonyo inside the box.
The home side gradually improved and came close to taking the lead when Kabelo Lichaba did well to spot his teammate Junior Sekete on the far post however his header went inches off target.
The persistent pressure from the United paid off on the half hour mark when they took the lead. Conrad Madolo played a defence splitting pass on the right hand side and located Wambi Strydom who picked his spot with ease inside the box to make it 1-0.
With five minutes before the break the North West based side came close to increasing the lead when Mahlatsi Makudubela let fly from the edge of the box, but his effort was well saved by Matsonyonyo who kept his side well in the game.
The visitors started the second period with purpose and kept the home side on the back foot with some persistent pressure from the middle.
It was no surprise when they levelled the scores with a deafening strike from outside the box by Tlali Mphono that left the united keeper with no chance.
With scores level the goal mouth action in general was few and far in between, both teams pushed men forward in the hope of getting a goal, but both defences stood firm as they defended in numbers.
With a minute left on the clock the mall enthusiastic crowd in Moruleng were on their feet when referee Jimmy Kgaphola awarded the home side a penalty following a clumsy tackle by Lerato Mofokeng on Shai. Former Sundowns defender Waletr Maponyane stepped up and calmly placed the ball in the net to had Kopano ke Matla the victory and a place in the last 32 of the Ke Yona Cup.
Other results Other 14 National First Division (NFD) sides were in action in preliminary-round ties for the 2013 Nedbank Cup tournament on Wednesday.
The fixture were used to determine the eight teams from this division who will join the 16 Premier League clubs and eight sides from the Vodacom League/SAB Regional League in the first round proper starting in early March.
Current First Division leaders MP Black Aces failed to continue with their fine form of late as they went down 3-1 to Dynamos away from home.
Second-placed Thanda Royal Zulu lost 1-0 away at third-placed Milano United in what was arguably the plum tie of the round.
Former PSL outfit, Jomo Cosmos were also winners on Wednesday as they had to win on penalties to earn a spot into the last 32 with a 3-2 win over FC Cape Town.
Vasco Da Gama left their NFD woes behind them to beat Santos 3-2 after extra time and advance.
African Warriors overcame Sivutsa Stars 1-0 away from home, while Polokwane City was far too strong for FCAK and finished 2-0 winners in their tie.
Witbank Spurs got off their 2013 campaign with a hard fought 2-1 win over strugglers Blackburn Rovers to seal a last-32 spot.-www.psl.co.za