Lebese wins it for Chiefs
Posted: 16 July 2011 Time: 17:03
George Lebese scored in time added on as Kaizer Chiefs beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in the opening match of the 2011 Vodacom Challenge at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
It looked to be heading for a draw, especially after a world-class save from Itumeleng Khune seconds earlier to deny Gareth Bale, but a lighting quick Chiefs counter-attack finished with the substitute prodding the ball under Carlo Cuducini’s body.
It was just reward for Amakhosi, who had dominated the first half and certainly held their own against a strong Spurs side after the break.
Chiefs definitely had the better of the first half, and should have been at least 2-0 up at the break, but for two glaring misses from debutant Lehlohonolo Majoro.
Spurs looked disjointed for most of the opening 45 minutes, and the Amakhosi certainly looked to take advantage of that, with Siphiwe Tshabalala and Josta Dladla causing mayhem down the right, and Reneilwe Letsholonyane bossing the midfield.
‘Shabba’ showed some good touches in and around the area, and on another day with his shooting boots on, he may have given Cuducini in the Spurs goal more trouble.
On 32 minutes Chiefs really should have had the lead. Again Tshabalala was the instigator, working some magic on the edge of the area before setting up Josta Dladla for a shot, which Cuducini could only parry. But Majoro, admittedly from a tight angle, could not find the target.
Four minutes later and the former AmaZulu striker again should have done better as Kaizer Motaung Jnr found him with an inch-perfect cross, but the header from six yards out went over the bar.
Predictably, Spurs rung the changes at the start of the second half, bring on the likes of Gareth Bale, Peter Crouch, Rafael van der Vaart and Aaron Lennon.
Bale immediately injected some much needed pace down the left, but it was Chiefs who had the first decent chance after the break. Majoro again found himself in space in the area and this time managed to hit one on target, only for Cuducini to hold onto the ball.
Spurs’ first clear-cut chance came on 68 minutes. Bale was the provider, crossing for Peter Crouch to head towards the bottom left corner, but Khune produced a world-class save to keep the scores intact.
Van der Vaart fired a free-kick over the bar three minutes later from a free-kick which earned Thomas Sweswe a yellow card, before the biggest cheer of the game came on 76 minutes – the introduction of Bongani Khumalo.
After Bale fired over from a tight angle, it was Chiefs who finished stronger. First Knowledge Musona shot wide, before George Lebese shot inches wide. In between that, Abia Nale found himself one-on-one with the keeper, but opted to pass rather than shoot and the chance was lost.
Bale almost clinched it in the dying minutes with a volley that grazed the crossbar, before the Welshman was again denied in time added on – his volley spectacularly saved by Khune – before Chiefs broke with seconds to go to secure a famous win.
Kaizer Chiefs starting XI: Itumeleng Khune – Jimmy Tau, Thomas Sweswe, Dominic Isaacs , Jimmy Jambo - Josta Dladla, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Tinashe Nengomasha, Siphiwe Tshabalala – Kaizer Motaung Jnr, Lehlohonolo Majoro
Tottenham Hotspur starting XI: Carlo Cudicini – Alan Hutton, Michael Dawson, Sebastian Bassong, Benoit Assou-Ekotto – David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas, Tom Huddlestone, Nico Krancjar – Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe