Saturday Aug 31, 2019. 17:10
Highlands Park held Polokwane City to a 0-0 draw at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday in the first leg of the teams’ MTN8 semifinal.
The result leaves the tie between Rise and Shine and the Lions of the North delicately balanced ahead of the return game in two and a half weeks. Highlands will be happy to try and win the game outright on home soil in the second leg, while only City can now benefit from the away goals rule.
Goal scoring chances were few and far between in the first half, with neither side able to really stamp their authority on the game. Polokwane enjoyed the ascendancy in the opening minutes and looked threatening from set pieces.
However, Highlands grew into the match as it wore on and came close to an opening goal around the half hour mark when City goalkeeper Mwneya Chibwe misjudged a looping ball and was lucky to see Mothobi Mvala head wide of the mark with the net unguarded.
In general, though, the match lacked rhythm, with the teams losing possession and giving away numerous fouls – it was no surprise when the interval arrived with the teams still locked at 0-0.
City almost claimed the lead within the opening couple of minutes in the second stanza, as defender Nicholas Motloung powered a header on target from a corner kick, but Thela Ngobeni made a sharp save.
This signalled the start of sustained dominance from Rise and Shine, but they lacked the cutting edge in the final third of the field to find a way through Highlands’ defence, leaving the game to end goalless after 90 minutes.
The return leg will be played at Makhulong Stadium on Tuesday 17 September, with the aggregate winners going on to face either Mamelodi Sundowns or SuperSport United in the final (the Tshwane giants meet in their first leg on Sunday 1 September, with the return game on Wednesday 18 September).
Polokwane City 0
Highlands Park 0
City: Chibwe, Mvelase, Hlongwane, Mbonani, Motloung, Manaka, Tlolane, Nene (J. Maluleke 57’), Anas (Mashumba 84’), W. Maluleke, Nku (Hlubi 71’)
Highlands: Ngobeni, L. Mokoena (Mkhabela 68’), Munyai, Mbhele, Rae, Williams, Mahlangu, Mbatha (Jooste 81’), Shalulile, Mvala, Ndoro (Ramagalela 58’)