A deflected goal by Thato Khiba in the second half at the Thohoyandou Stadium was enough to earn Marumo Gallants a 1-0 win over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and a place in the final of the Nedbank Cup.
The first half was rather a dull affair with the teams failing to create many goal scoring opportunities. In fact, Gallants only had one shot on target in the first 45 minutes of the match, while TTM had two.
The visitors were forced to make an early change in the 17th minute when Junior Dion failed to recover from an earlier reckless tackle, which warranted a caution, but referee Abongile Tom only awarded a free kick.
Lerato Lamola replaced Junior and he too found himself in the receiving end of a punch that left him with a bleeding nose and again the perpetrator was not cautioned by Tom.
Rhulani Manzini came close to putting TTM in the lead at the stroke of half-time, but his well-taken free kick hit the crossbar with the goalkeeper well-beaten.
Gallants coach Dan Malesela must has read his players the riot act because they came out a different side in the second half.
Tshepo Gumede came close to giving Bahlabane Ba Ntwa the lead in the 61st minute with a header, but it went narrowly over the crossbar.
Three minutes later, Gallants finally found the back of the net through Khiba’s deflected shot.
In the 80th minute, Katlego Otladisa, who had just been replaced by Sibusiso Kumalo, received a red card for what looked like using an offensive language towards the referee.
Gallants hanged on to their slender lead and booked themselves a spot in the final of the Nedbank Cup where they will meet the winner of Saturday’s second semi-final between Royal AM and Mamelodi Sundowns.