Big Guns Kept Apart

The big guns were largely kept apart on Monday when the draw for the 2015/16 Telkom Knockout quarter-finals was completed at the Premier Soccer League headquarters in Johannesburg.  Kaizer Chiefs travel to Orlando Pirates, Orlando Pirates or the University of Pretoria will meet Maritzbrug United, Free State Stars will play Mamelodi Sundowns, and SuperSport United will host Free State Stars.  The game between Pirates and University of Pretoria was postponed due to the Buccaneers’ participation in the CAF Confederation Cup.  The two teams will meet on Friday 16 October to determine which side will progress into the next round.

The opening fixture of the tournament took place on Wednesday, 30 September with defending champions SuperSport United brushing off Polokwane City 2-1 at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.  A rocket shot from Siyabulela Shai and second half penalty via Kurt Lentjies helped advance Maritzburg United to the quarter-finals with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over 10-man Jomo Cosmos at the Harry Gwala Stadium.  Mamelodi Sundowns powered into the last eight on Saturday night with a deserved 2-0 victory over the 10-men of Chippa United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

Golden Arrows and Free State Stars upset the form book to seal their places in the quarters as well.  Stars ousted Bidvest Wits by a single goal while Arrows defeated newly crowned MTN8 champions Ajax Cape Town 1-0 in a tight contest that was decided by Gladwin Shitolo’s second half goal.  On Sunday, 13-time winners Kaizer Chiefs withstood an early onslaught from hosts Platinum Stars to eventually 3-0 triumph at Moruleng Stadium.

The only game that did not finish inside 90 minutes was in Bloemfontein, where after a goalless two hours home side Celtic was eliminated by Mpumalanga Black Aces.  The penalty shootout score was 3-2 in favour of Muhsin Ertugral’s team.  There was only one match of the Telkom Knockout Round of 16 that did not take place.