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SA SOCCER NEWS
SuperSport through to SAA Supa 8 semi-finals 15/08/04

SuperSport United joined Moroka Swallows in the semi-finals of the SAA Supa 8 competiton after they edged out Santos 5-3 on penalties at the Loftus Stadium in Pretoria on Sunday afternoon.

The home side had the first chance of the game in the second minute when some neat interplay inside the Santos box saw Tsweu Mokoro burst through on goal, however, Santos keeper Ryan Wuest did well to block the shot.

The Cape side's only chance in the opening minutes came via a long range left-footed shot by Edries Burton, which flew well over the bar.

In the eighth minute Matsatsantsa were forced to bring on substitute keeper Grant Johnson after Calvin Marlin twisted his knee after falling awkwardly following a challenge by Jean Marc Ithier.

Santos took the lead in the 17th minute when Mxolisi Mchunu floated in a free kick at the far post and captain Musa Otieno rose highest to score with a well-placed looping header from an acute angle.

In the 26th minute a cross from Richard Rantjies nearly saw Duran Francis header the ball into his own net, but fortunately for the defender the ball went just wide of the upright.

A strong run by Rantjies in the 39th minute came close to yielding a goal for United when his shot was deflected narrowly over the cross bar by John Mbidzo.

The first chance of the second half fell to Santos substitute Jaiudeen Lackay, whose cracking shot from the right hand side of the box was brilliantly tipped away for a corner by Johnson in the 51st minute.

The home team continued to apply pressure and in the 65th minute Francis and then Wuest both came to the rescue of the visitors with  a last gasp tackle and a great save respectively.

In the 73rd minute SuperSport equalised when former People's Team striker Abram Raselemane did well to control a long ball before stabbing it past the advancing Wuest and into an empty net.

Ten minutes later the visitors were desperately unlucky not to regain the lead when Otieno rose well to meet a cross from John Mbidzo, only to see his header rebound off the cross bar with Johnson well beaten.

In the 88th minute United should have grabbed the winner when some brilliant work by Raselemane and Daniel Matsau set up Mokoro, but the latter blasted his shot over the bar with the goal at his mercy from only six yards out.

This was the last chance of the game during regulation time as the referee blew his whistle shortly afterwards, sending the match into extra time.

In the fifth minute of extra time Matsau burst through on goal, but Wuest did well to move off his line and get to the ball first.

Three minutes later Santos were given the chance to go ahead when Raselemane was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box.

Otieno duly stepped up and slammed the ball into the back of the net after having sent Johnson the wrong way.

SuperSport were not about to give up, and in the 104th minute they levelled matters when Matsau got himself on the end of a great cross from the left to score with a diving header.

The score remained deadlocked until the end of extra time, sending the match into penalties.

Carlo Scott's penalty proved to be the desisive one as the former Swallows striker underhit his shot, allowing Johnson to make a comfortable save.

Sibusiso Gaxa then converted his kick, sending Pitso Mosimane's men into the semi-finals.

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