Highlands Park are riding the crest of wave and making a name for themselves as one of the toughest teams to face in the premiership.
Coach Owen da Gama’s charges put in an impressive shift to beat Polokwane City 2-0 at Makhulong Stadium on Sunday. The victory was the perfect confidence booster ahead of Highlands’ MTN8 final clash against SuperSport United in Orlando on October 5.
The home side beat Polokwane via a penalty shoot-out last week in Tembisa to book their place in the R8m cup final.
Da Gama fielded his strongest starting XI despite a potentially energy-sapping cup final in just five days and was rewarded for his bravery with a victory.
He had newly signed midfield maestro Reneilwe Letsholonyane on the bench but did not use him.
After a period of sustained pressure from the home side‚ Mothobi Mvala scored his first goal of the season midway through the first half.
Peter Shalulile‚ who could have grabbed a first-half hat-trick had it not been for his wastefulness in front of goal‚ put the final nail in City’s coffin with an assist on the stroke of full time. He capitalised on a slick counter-attacking move as City threw caution to the wind by sending numbers forward in search of an equaliser.
Mvala benefited from one of Ryan Rae’s long throw-ins‚ getting on the end of a Shalulile flick to volley home a thunderbolt into the roof of the net from close range. Rae’s throw-ins are like set-pieces for Highlands and are reminiscent of Orlando Pirates great Gavin Lane.
The win will whet the appetite of the Lions of the North ahead of their maiden appearance in a final.