Kwanele Hlongwane's second half strike secured KwaZulu Natal's passage to the final four
Thursday Jul 17, 2014. 15:55
Kwanele Hlongwane's second half strike secured KwaZulu Natal's passage to the final four, KZN beat the Northern Cape 1-0 in a tightly contested SAB Under-21 Championship encounter at the Montshiwa Stadium in Mafikeng on Thursday afternoon.
KZN join the Free State and the defending champions the Western Cape in the semi-finals.
The opening half-hour of the encounter flew by without either side managing to trouble the opposition keeper.
Hlongwane, who has been one of the star players at this years tournament came withing inches of setting what had been a dull affair alight in the 39th minute.
The winger broke in behind the opposition defence before rounding Grant de Bruin, but he could only manage to find the upright from an acute angle from his resulting effort.
KZN ended the first 45 strongly but were unable to break the deadlock, goalless at the interval.
Both coaches made changes to their eleven soon after the break, but dis failed to improve the quality of football on the field of play, with chances continuing to be few and far between.
KZN though looked to more likely to score on the day and did so in the 71st minute through Hhlongwane.
Second-half substitute Romario Morris picked out the speedy winger who chipped the onrushing keeper from close range to net his second goal of the tournament.
The Northern Cape went in search of the equaliser, but they failed to find a way past a water tight KZN defence, subsequently crashing out of this years championship.
KZN will now face Free State, a team they beat 2-1 in the group stages, in the semi-finals on Friday.