Woeful AmaZulu penalty-taking gifts Highlands Park victory

Highlands Park won a South African FA Cup round-of-32 tie in rain-lashed Durban Friday thanks in part to woeful shootout penalty-taking by fellow top-flight club AmaZulu FC.

The first of four all-Premiership clashes in the opening round ended 1-1 after extra time and Highlands triumphed 3-1 on penalties.

In regulation time, Argentine Emiliano Tade converted a 34th-minute penalty to put Durban-based AmaZulu ahead and Richard Rae levelled with a far-post header before half-time.

AmaZulu, formed in 1932 and one of the oldest South African football clubs, squandered two good chances to win the tie in the second half of extra time on a muddy pitch.

The shootout started disastrously for the home side as a casual kick from Bongi Ntuli was saved by Highlands goalkeeper Marlon Heugh.

It got worse for AmaZulu after Tapelo Nyongo converted their second kick with the next two attempts fired wide to hand Highlands victory as they scored off three of four kicks.

"The irony is that those who missed tonight did well when practising penalties at training during the week," said AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson.

AmaZulu had talked up their chances of not only eliminating Highlands but going on to lift the trophy for the first time and representing South Africa in the CAF Confederation Cup.

But a poor record in a competition sponsored by one of the five major banks in the republic continued as this was their fifth round-of-32 exit in seven seasons.

In Cape Town, second-division Cape Umoya United overcame having to play 83 minutes with 10 men to snatch a 2-1 victory over fourth-tier Tshwane University of Technology Students.

After Brandon Theron gave Umoya an early lead, team-mate Shane Saralina was shown a straight red card for a professional foul.

Lebogang Radebe equalised on the hour and with extra time looming, veteran former Premiership striker Nathan Paulse snatched the winning goal.

The other three all-Premiership ties are set for Saturday with Chippa United hosting Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates away to Black Leopards and Cape Town City hosting SuperSport United.


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