Sunday May 29, 2022. 19:17
University of Pretoria seized the early advantage in the DStv Premiership promotion/relegation playoffs with a 3-1 victory over Cape Town All Stars at Athlone Stadium on Sunday.
First-half goals from Samuel Julies and Thabang Sibanyoni put Tlisane Motaung’s side in control at the half-time interval and Wonderboy Makhubu wrapped up the win in the closing stages of the match after Sirgio Kammies had halved the deficit early in the second half.
AmaTuks are looking to end their six-year absence from the top flight and they host Swallows next weekend in the third of six playoff ties, although Dylan Kerr’s team will take on All Stars prior to that on Wednesday at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium.
The visitors went on the attack from the kick-off and threatened in the opening minute after winning a corner, which was headed over the goal by Makhubu.
Igugu Lekapa settled down and enjoyed the majority of the possession in the first half, but it took them a while to test Thakasani Mbanjwa as Justice Figuareido, Michael Morton and Azola Ntsabo all failed to hit the target in the opening stages.
After Siyanda Msani sent out a warning with a shot that flashed just wide of the left post on 16 minutes, AmaTuks broke the deadlock six minutes later when Julies fired into the top left corner of the net after being picked out by Sanele Barns inside the area.
Allan Freese’s charges looked for a quick response and Ayabulela Konqobe forced Mbanjwa into a save with his header on 27 minutes after getting on the end of Ntsabo’s cross.
Instead it was the Pretoria outfit celebrating again five minutes before the break, with Sibanyoni slotting past Kyle Peters from inside the box after being played in by Makhubu following a swift counter.
Singkhi Mpedi almost extended their lead two minutes later with a strike from range, although Peters was equal to the task on this occasion as he made the save.
The woodwork came to the hosts’ rescue seven minutes after the restart when Makhubu struck the right post with an effort from inside the area and they seized the opportunity to pull one back on 56 minutes through Kammies, who steered his header beyond Mbanjwa from Morton’s cross.
Kammies was presented with another chance 12 minutes later after making contact with Figuareido’s cross, but he couldn’t direct his header on target this time around, while at the other end Kamogelo Pheeane drew a fine save out of Peters with his long-range attempt on 75 minutes.
However, Makhubu restored Tuks’ two-goal cushion seven minutes from time with a header from close range that he glanced into the bottom right corner of the net from Barns’ cross.
Cape Town All Stars (0) 1 (Kammies 56′)
University of Pretoria (2) 3 (Julies 22′, Sibanyoni 40′, Makhubu 83′)
Cape Town All Stars: K. Peters, T. Moloisane, A. Konqobe, T. Makhele, A. Ntsabo (D. Matlala 76′), S. Kammies, M. Morton, A. Jodwana (R. Maarman 76′), N. Mdabuka, J. Figuareido (E. Rodgers 86′), S. Nyembe.
University of Pretoria: T. Mbanjwa, S. Barns, K. Allan, L. Maqoko, A. Moeketsi, J. Tshabalala, S. Julies, W. Makhubu, S. Mpedi, S. Msani, T. Sibanyoni (K. Pheeane 62′).