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King Zwelithini Stadium
13/03/2011 15:00

Brave Lions fall to Chiefs

Posted: 13 March 2011 Time: 17:46

Nathi Lions very nearly became the third First Division team to knock Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs out of the Nedbank Cup, but they succumbed 3-2 after extra-time at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Amakhosi gave a thoroughly unconvincing performance in which they wasted a two-goal lead and needed a fortuitous penalty early in extra-time to win, but they have at least booked a place in the Last 16.

The early stages of the first half were evenly balanced, with Chiefs looking the likelier scorers, though Amabhubesi showed enough in attack to suggest that the top flight team would not have things all their own way.

However, midway through the first half, Amakhosi broke the deadlock. Mandla Masango picked out a great diagonal ball for George Lebese that sprung Lions’ offside trap and the left-footer finished the chance with aplomb to rack up his first official goal for the club.

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Seven minutes later Chiefs doubled their advantage, cutting open the hosts’ backline with a swift counter-attack that put Stanton Lewis clean through on goal – the striker finished beautifully to the left of Zikalala to put his team 2-0 up.

At the start of the second half it seemed as if Chiefs would be able to stroll through the rest of the game and easily book their place in the Last 16, but Makhoba halved the deficit in the 48th minute, ghosting in unmarked at the back post to head home from a Moses Chavula free kick.

The Soweto side didn’t respond particularly well to conceding the goal, as they looked lethargic and struggled to move the ball at pace, while Amabhubesi certainly worked hard to get men behind the ball and make life difficult for their illustrious visitors.

The introduction of Gerald Sibeko just past the hour mark seemed to inject some life into the Amakhosi, but they still struggled to create opportunities to extend their lead.

And they were duly punished with just under a quarter hour of regulation time remaining. Sibeko was guilty of miscontrolling the ball in his own box and Lindani Zungu pounced, scoring with a low shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-2 and send the game to an extra 30 minutes.

Six minutes into extra time, Lions central defender Siyabonga Shoyisa gave away a needless penalty after a barge into the back of Lewis.

Sibeko, at fault for the home team’s second goal, redeemed himself by converting the spot kick, though Zikalala got a hand to it and very nearly kept it out. The penalty, which took the score to 3-2, proved decisive.

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