Musona the hero again

Amakhosi needed some luck as Tshepo Motsoeneng, in the Santos goal, dropped a cross by Siphiwe Tshabalala and Musona, who scored a brace against nemesis Orlando Pirates the previous weekend, proved once again that he is the man for the big occasion – this time in Polokwane at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Amakhosi will feel this was well-deserved, though, as they dominated the better part of the match. It was as early as the fifth minute when Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s shot set the tone for Chiefs’ attacking nature throughout the match. Yeye’s shot was saved by Motsoeneng, who continued to frustrate the Chiefs forwards.

None more so than Sthembiso Ngcobo, who tried a Diego Maradona in the 13th minute when his attempt with his hand went off wide, but referee Harry Lekitlane had spotted Ngcobo’s antics and brandished a yellow card.

Amakhosi fans then vented their anger at Ngcobo, who they wanted out towards the end of the first stanza, but it did little, if anything at all, to help Ngcobo’s confidence as the resolute Santos stood firm and it was still goalless at the interval.

Chiefs started off where they left off in the first half continuing to pile pressure on the helpless Santos side. As early as the 46th minute Mogogi Gabonamong deflected Musona’s cross for a corner, but Chiefs couldn’t capitalise.

Seconds later Letsholonyane hesitated in the box when he could have taken a shot allowing the Santos defence time and space to recover and dispossessed him. Sensing danger Santos boss Boebie Solomons took off an ineffectual Boitumelo Mafoko to try to stabilize the midfield, but the move didn’t deter Chiefs as they went on the offensive.

However, Thomas Sweswe’s miscued shot in the 55th minute could have undone all Chiefs’ attacks. Itumeleng Khune, who once again kept a clean sheet, saved Sweswe’s blushes with a tip over the bar for a corner, but that’s as far as Santos came close.

Siphiwe Tshabalala took the fight back to Santos with a powerful shot that hit the side netting in the 59th minute with the entire stadium on its feet. However, since the hour mark chances were few and far in between and it wasn’t until the 87th minute when Musona missed a sitter. Tshabalala put in a great cross from wide on the left, but Musona steered his effort wide, but the flag for offside was already up and it couldn’t have counted anyway.

The match then went into extra time and Musona, for the umpteenth time, was inches close to drawing first blood, but his right-footed attempt, went wide the upright in the 101th minute.

Musona, though, was not to be denied. In the 116th minute Motsoeneng’s blunder undid Santos’ impressive defensive work when Musona latched on the loose ball and tapped in to ensure Chiefs will have the opportunity to defend the title they won last season.