New boy Keanu Cupido got the only goal of the game as Cape Town City became the last side to book a place in the semifinals of the MTN8 with a 1-0 away win over Maritzburg United in their quarterfinal tie here on Sunday.
City won on the road for the first time since February and are into the final four of the top-eight competition for a third successive year.
It was a gritty victory in an unattractive match characterised by dirty tackles‚ a tempestuous atmosphere and few scoring opportunities.
"This was Cup football. Both teams wanted it bad and it showed," said City coach Benni McCarthy. "Fortunately we got the goal and made it a bit easier for us."
It came at a cost as captain Thamsanqa Mkhize went to hospital with a bad cut on the side of his head after a clash of heads with Bokang Tlhone in the second half.
Siphelele Mthembu was also forced off with an ankle injury‚ leaving City with a mounting injury toll.
City‚ who were runners-up in the 2017 MTN8‚ were deserved of their half-time lead even though the first 45 minutes were shy on real opportunities.
Mthembu wasted two good chances after being set up by passes from Ayanda Patosi‚ back in the City midfield and playing his first game of the season.
The second saw Mthembu sent clear of the Maritzburg defence with just the keeper to beat‚ but he barely had time to settle on the ball as home keeper Richard Ofori came out of his goals to put the City striker off his stride and force him to chip over the top of the target.
Roland Putsche got himself into a good position 10 minutes before halftime to try and profit from Thabo Nodada’s cross, however his glancing header was off target.
But on the stroke of halftime the breakthrough came from a corner as Ofori’s attempted clearing punch went awry and fell right for Cupido‚ who stooped down to head home in only his second Premier Soccer League appearance.
For Maritzburg it was their third successive defeat, which contrasts with the team’s bright start to the season in the last campaign.
They will need to recover quickly as they face Kaizer Chiefs in the league on Friday.
SuperSport United will host Kaizer Chiefs while Cape Town City will be at home to Sundowns in the semifinals to be played on the weekend of August 25-26.