Kaizer Chiefs (0) 0
AmaZulu (0) 1
FNB stadium, Nasrec
The Amakhosi faithful will have to wait a little while longer for a trophy after Kaizer Chiefs were eliminated from the Carling Black Label Knockout Cup, going down 1-0 to AmaZulu at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.
Taariq Fielies netted the only goal of the match in the 88th minute in what was one of AmaZulu’s rare forays into the Chiefs danger zone.
Fielding a team that showed four changes from their last outing, before the international break, with Ranga Chivaviro, Tebogo Potsane, George Matlou and Ox Mthethwa coming in, it took the opening 10 minutes for Amakhosi to adjust to AmaZulu’s formation, which lacked a centre forward.
Twice early on Itumeleng Khune was called upon to use his vast experience to ward off danger, first coming to the edge of his box to clear with his chest as two Usuthu forwards bore down on him chasing a long ball over the top, and then positioning himself perfectly to repel a dangerous free kick whipped into his crowded 6-yard area.
Chiefs grew into the match as they came to terms with their opponents’ approach and began to dictate the tempo of the game and cause problems for the visitors.
Potsane almost opened the scoring in the 16th minute when he timed his run perfectly to meet Reeve Frosler’s long diagonal pass but headed straight at Veli Mothwa in the AmaZulu goal.
Matlou was looking particularly influential in midfield and found Chivaviro in the 23rd minute, who set up Dolly in space. Unfortunately, it fell to his weaker right foot and the shot went wide.
A minute later, Chivaviro let fly with a rocket shot from 30 yards out that Mothwa did very well to tip over his crossbar.
Matlou’s impressive link play with Chivaviro almost paid off again when the two combined to fashion an opening for Yusuf Maart, who fired narrowly wide from a tight angle. A few moments later he broke behind the defence and pulled the ball back only for Mothwa to reach the ball just ahead of Chivaviro.
In a worrying moment, Chiefs lost Edmilson Dove to what appeared to be a muscle injury and he was replaced by Zitha Kwinika in the 38th minute.
On the stroke of half-time, Chivaviro rose to meet Frosler’s pin-point free kick but headed over the bar, as the teams went into the break without registering a goal on the scoreboard.
Amakhosi reasserted their dominance after the break, forcing a series of corners as the silky skills of Matlou, of particular delight to the typically passionate Khosi Nation packed into the stands, had the AmaZulu midfield struggling to contain him. However, they found the AmaZulu defence, one of the meanest in the league, in a stubborn mood.
Coach Molefi Ntseki sent on South American duo, Edson Castillo and Jasond Gonzalez, and the big Colombian striker almost made an immediate impact but just failed to get on the end of a Mthethwa cross following a lightning break up the Amakhosi right involving incisive passing between Kwinika, Dolly and the Ox. Gonazlez also had Mothwa scrambling off his line to prevent an effort on goal in the 75th minute.
Then, with a couple of minutes remaining, The ball came in from the AmaZulu right and deflected into the path of Fielies, who swept the ball past Khune to become the unlikely match winner.
The defeat is very hard on an Amakhosi team that were superior in every department, except the scoreline, and they will be working hard on improving their conversion rate of the many chances they continue to create.
Kaizer Chiefs: Khune © (32), Dove (2) (Kwinika (4 38’), Ditlhokwe (24), Nj Ngcobo (27), Frosler (39), Mthethwa (5), Maart (8) (Castillo (17) 64’), Matlou (22), Potsane (11) (Saile Basomboli 84’), Dolly (10) (Mmodi (13) 84’), Chivaviro (7) (Gonzalez (14) 64’)
Subs not used: Bvuma (44); Msimango (25), Solomons (18), Mdantsane (3)
Coach: Molefi Ntseki
AmaZulu: Mothwa © (44), Sikhakhane (5) (Jooste (26) 87’), Hanamub (14), Mphahlele (23), Fielies (43), Gumede (17), Motshwari (8) (Maluleka (12) 87’), Brooks (4), Moremi (19) (Kwem (9) 90+1), Ekstein (27) (Dion (33) 61’), Ngema (20)
Subs not used: Mzimela (1), Mabiliso (42), Zulu (24), Human (21), Mbanjwa (15),
Coach: Pablo Franco