Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates Telkom Knockout semi-final report
Posted: 7 November 2015 Time: 16:08
Kaizer Chiefs had goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo to thank after 120 minutes of football after a 6-5 penalty shootout victory over Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knockout semi-final at FNB Stadium.
Khuzwayo made several saves during regular time to keep the Buccaneers from snatching victory, and although he made no saves in the shootout, he was happy to take the credit.
It was a tight contest in the first half, hard-fought in the midfield in the late afternoon heat, and Steve Komphela's side created more chances. But in the second half it was Eric Tinker's men that took the ascendency but failed to beat Khuzwayo.
George Lebese forced the first save out of Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane in the eighth minute of the match from a tight angle before Ivan Bukenya missed a sitter from close range, scooping the ball over the bar on the half-volley when the proper technique would have put Chiefs one-nil up.
In the 20th minute Lebese had a better chance after being played in behind by Siphiwe Tshabalala but Mpontshane did well to come out and make himself big, and Lebese could only lob the ball wide under pressure.
Pirates' best moment of the first half came in the 37th minute when Ntsikelelo Nyauza brought a good save out of Khuzwayo, who had to get down low to his right to keep out his header at the far post from Kermit Erasmus' free-kick.
Bukenya then missed another great chance when Tshabalala swung in a free-kick and the big defender managed to shrug off Issa Sarr to get free on the six-yard line, but he failed to make proper contact and could only glance the ball wide.
Right before the half-time whistle Mpho Makola had a sight of goal from the edge of the area but could not keep his first-time shot down as he tried to place it in the top-right corner.
Eric Tinkler will be encouraged that while Chiefs have created more chances, Bucs have also looked dangerous and likely to score on the counter-attack.
The Buccaneers took the game to Chiefs at the start of the second half, starting more brightly, and Khuzwayo was called into action far more than in the first half.
The Chiefs keeper had to show good reactions to parry away Makola's deflected free-kick from the left side before saving again from a powerful Erasmus volley a few minutes later.
Khuzwayo then produced a vital save one-on-one against Thamsanqa Gabuza. Chiefs were dilly-dallying a bit in possession and Sarr intercepted a sloppy pass from Lucky Baloyi, charged forward and released a perfectly-weighted through-ball for Gabuza, but Khuzwayo came off his line, closed the angle, stayed big and read the intentions of the striker, whose shot lacked conviction.
The match became rather scrappy after 70 minutes as the chances and openings became fewer and th elonger the game went on, the less caution was thrown to the wind.
Chiefs substitute Siphelele Mthembu had the clearest chance to win the game in the 85th minute after being played through on the left side of the penalty area by Tsepo Masilela, but the striker – with time to pick his spot – chose power over placement and blasted his shot wildly high and wide.
Bucs substitute Menzi Masuku then had one final chance to steal a result when he got into the box following great endeavour from Erasmus outside the area to create the chance, but Khuzwayo once again saved with his feet to keep the score goalless.
With the score still goalless after 90 minutes, the match needed 30 minutes of extra-time.
In the first half of extra-time Lebese had another shot from a tight angle on the left but Mponshane was equal to it, while Bucs played got into some good positions but could not find the final ball as the legs started to tire on both sides.
The final 15 minutes of the 120 peted out with both teams – knackered from their exertions – going through the motions and unable to create further scoring chances as the game went to penalties.
Tshabalala scores; Matlaba scores (1-1)
Katsande scores; Masuku scores (2-2)
Letsholonyane scores; Majoro scores (3-3)
Gordinho scores; Ntshumayelo misses (4-3)
Mthembu misses; Motupa scores (4-4)
Masilela scores; Sarr scores (5-5)
Baloyi scores; Sangweni misses (6-5)
HOME: Kaizer Chiefs
Coach: Steve Komphela
AWAY: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Eric Tinkler