Chiefs Outlast Pirates

Kaizer Chiefs are through to the Telkom Knockout final after a dramatic 6-5 penalty shootout victory over Orlando Pirates at the FNB Stadium on Saturday  Siyabonga Sangweni’s spot kick miss sent Amakhosi through to a second cup final of the season.  In the second minute of the game Pirates looked like they were on top of their game as Thamsanqa Gabuza was called offside after heading the ball straight to Brilliant Khuzwayo.  Then Chiefs picked themselves up and started attacking.

George Lebese beat an offside trap in the seventh minute but Siyabonga Mbontshane made the save resulting in a corner for the Glamour Boys.  Siphiwe Tshabalala took the corner and found Ivan Bukenya who headed the ball over the crossbar.  Steve Komphela’s men felt confident as they held the possession and in the 19th minute Lebese chipped the ball a little too high in search of an opening.

The Buccaneers tried to come back in the 36th minute after Bukenya fouled Gabuza but Khuzwayo saved the ball and the defence cleared it.  The Phefeni club attacked immediately but it was wide again.  In the second half Komphela made his first substitution as Bukenya was replaced by Lorenzo Gordinho.  During the first 15 minutes of the second stanza the Sea Robbers attacked relentlessly making Khuzwayo work very hard to keep them from scoring.

Nothing good came out of either side’s attempts with the Ghost in particular finding Khuzwayo in inspired form.  As extra time started both teams were hoping for a goal but still their attempts were not good enough as both goalkeepers were doing a great job.  Afterwards Bucs boss Eric Tinkler said:  ‘They showed more aggression to want to win the game.  (In the) second half we tried, when it got to penalties it was it (sic).  We could have done better though.’  

It is debatable over how much better Tinkler’s troops could have fared considering the form Khuzwayo was showing.  Ultimately it was Sangweni’s missed penalty that sent the Naturena club to the final.

Photo credit: Nick Lourens