CHIEFS EDGE INTO TKO QUARTERFINALS ON PENALTIES AGAISNT BLACL LEOPARD AT FNB STADIUM ON SUNDAY

CHIEFS EDGE INTO TKO QUARTERFINALS ON PENALTIES AGAISNT BLACL LEOPARD AT FNB STADIUM ON SUNDAY

Kaizer Chiefs have edged into the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals after they defeated Black Leopards 4-2 on penalties (1-1 draw after extra time) at the FNB Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

There was nothing to separate the teams after 120 minutes, with Phatutshedzo Nange and Hendrick Ekstein scoring for Lidoda Duvha and Amakhosi respectively, before goalkeeper Virgil Vries proved the hero for the hosts with two saves in the shootout.

The first clear chance of the match fell to Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Willard Katsande in the 13th minute, but his attempt to curl a shot into the top corner flew high and wide of the target.

Leopards didn’t let that scare bother them and they began to dominate proceedings. First, on 26 minutes, Lesedi Kapinga hit the crossbar from close range after meeting a cross from Mwape Musonda, before Lefa Hlongwane dragged an effort wide a short while later.

The visitors’ pressure paid dividends in the 34th minute, when Phatutshedzo Nange was allowed to run unchallenged into the penalty area before unleashing a powerful left-footed drive which went in via the underside of the crossbar to put Lidoda Duvha 1-0 up.

Chiefs almost came up with an equaliser just before the interval, as Bernard Parker struck the woodwork with an effort in the 45th minute, but the halftime whistle saw the Limpopo side still a goal to the good.

The Amakhosi upped their game in the second half and on 63 minutes they levelled the game at 1-1. Parker played a fine diagonal pass to pick out Hendrick Ekstein, whose excellent first touch allowed him the luxury of a simple finish past goalkeeper King Ndlovu.

The teams traded chances through the remainder of regulation time, with Musonda seeing a long-range effort well saved by Virgil Vries, while Chiefs substitute Ryan Moon had a low shot turned around the corner by Ndlovu.

Moon had further chances in extra time, hitting the outside of the near post as he looked to slip a shot past Ndlovu, as well as heading just off target with a glancing header from a corner kick, while Kabelo Mahlasela had a great chance in the 109th minute but was denied by the Leopards ‘keeper.

With penalties looking likely, Chiefs continued to pile on the pressure and with four minutes of extra time remaining Katsande struck the angle of post and crossbar with a long-range shot, and Hlongwane had a great chance on a counter for Leopards but found the side-netting when faced with only Vries to beat.

The shootout saw Vries save two of Leopards’ penalties, allowing Moon to score the decisive kick and seal a 4-2 triumph for the Amakhosi.

Kaizer Chiefs (0) (1) 1 (Ekstein 63’)

Black Leopards (1) (1) 1 (Nange 34’)

After extra time – Chiefs won 4-2 on penalties

Chiefs: Vries, Mphahlele, Mathoho, Booysen, Walusimbi, Katsande, Ntshangase, Ekstein (Jayiya 91’), Zulu (Mahlasela 63’), Parker, Paez (Moon 63’)

Leopards: K. Ndlovu, Munyai, Zulu, Munganga, Katjiukua, Nange, Mhlongo (Khutlang 68’), Nene, Musonda (T. Ndlovu 99’), Kapinga (Tshepe 76’), Hlongwane

Article by Nicholas Munzhedzi

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