DURBAN – The five year of loneliness are over for Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto derby as they marched on to the semi finals of the Telkom Knockout, dumping out their rivals Orlando Pirates 4-3 on penalties.
The highly contested showdown ended 2-2 after 120 minutes and penalties were required to separate the Soweto giants.
Chiefs were winless against the Buccaneers across all the competitions in the last five years but that barren run was ended yesterday against the 10 men, Pirates at the packed Moses Mabhida.
Amakhosi are now itching closer to end their run of four years without a silverware. They are now two games from being crowned the champions.
Chiefs started on the front foot and played at a frenetic pace. Ernst Middendorp sticked to his usually 4-3-3 that has been working wonders for Amakhosi so far this season. Leonardo Castro caused few problems for the Buccaneers operating as focal point. His runs through the channels were troubling Pirates. Both sides were using the same formation.
— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) November 2, 2019
The match officials were put under scrutiny once again when Samir Nurkovic found the back of net following an exquisite pass by Khama Billiat to beat Wayne Sandilands but the Serbian was controversial flagged for offside.
Pirates were playing in dribs and drabs despite Chiefs dominating the bulk of the possession. Vincent Pule hit the post in the 29th minutes. He produced a moment of magic from nowhere but Amakhosi survivedthe scare.
The Buccaneers broke the deadlock 34 minutes in to the game. Tshegofatso Mabasa delivered a well timed pass in to the box and the ball fell in to the path of Thembinkosi Lorch but his attempt was blocked but Daniel Cardoso. From that moment, the rebound went straight in to Fortune Makaringe who slotted the back in to the back of the net. It was poor defending by Chiefs and the Sea Robbers profited.
Middendorp was very calm in the bench for Amakhosi while Rhulani Mokwena was on his feet all the time issuing instructions.
Daniel Akpeyi escaped with the murder in the first half when he man handled Mabasa in the box but the referee, Jelly Chavani waved play on.
The Buccaneers were dealt a major blow in to the second half as they were reduced to 10 men. Mthokozisi Dube fouled Khama Billiat and was given his second yellow card just four minutes in to the second half. The red was issued four minutes in to the second half.
Castro restored parity for the Glamour Boys after the hour-mark. It was a good build up by Amakhosi. The move was orchestrated by Lebogang Manyama and George Maluleka and finished by Castro who showed good instincts after Billiat hit the post.
There were numerous calls for penalty in the second from both teams but Chavani ignored them.
It was all Chiefs in the second half but they couldn’t find the winner in 90 minutes. For Pirates it was all about absorbing pressure. They tried different strategies like changing formations and time wasting. They played a 3-5-1 overloading with full-backs on the flanks.
Chiefs took the lead as early two minutes in extra-time. Daniel Cardoso converted a penalty after Abel Mabaso was judged to have handled the ball inside the box.
Gabadinho Mhango made an instant impact. He scored two minutes after entering the field. Mhango came in for the tired looking, Mabasa. It was a well taken finish by the Malawian.
Akpeyi turned out to be the hero for Amakhosi. He saved two penalties and Chiefs emerge as 4-2 winners.