Nzama hands Chiefs Top Eight glory
Nzama hands Chiefs Top Eight glory

Posted in News on Sep 01, 2001.

Defender Cyril Nzama scored two crucial goals to give Kaizer Chiefs their first major title this season as they beat Sundowns 7-6 on penalties in a pulsating BP Top Eight final at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Nzama, who spent most of the time defending goals, came through for Chiefs in the dying minutes of the game to score an equaliser, which kept Amakhosi in the hunt. It was Nzama again who scored the most important goal of the day in the penalty shootout to take the coveted trophy and R 1 million prize money to Naturena.

The final went into overdrive as both sides failed to clinch the title in regulation time. The 30 minutes extra time that was added at the end of regulation time could not produce a winner and rules stipulated that in such an event penalties would be the last resort.

Both sides converted their first five penalties but it was in the sudden death that Sundowns lost the battle. Bennett Mnguni, Fabien McCarthy, Gift Kampamba, Simba Marumo and Lucky Qaba scored for Sundowns. Alex Bapela added the sixth in sudden death but Michael Manzini could not get his shot past Brian Baloyi.

Amakhosi were also well represented in the dreaded penalty shoot out by Malawian international Patrick Mabedi, Lucky Maselesele, Arthur Zwane, Nhlanhla Mathebula and Stanton Fredericks. Marco Mthembu and Nzama put the matter beyond doubt in sudden death.

Chiefs drew first blood in their quest for the 2001 Top Eight title as Arthur Zwane punished Sundowns on 27 minutes. Niemach delivered a pass to Pule, who lobbed over to Zwane and Tlale had difficulties in handing the ball.

The Nmaturena side went in the spring day final as favourites following their impressive semifinal victory against rivals Orlando Pirates a week ago. They approached their encounter against Sundowns on the offensive with Kenny Niemach and Jabu Pule leading the attack while Jossias Macamo added the firepower coming from deep in midfield.

Sundowns had internal problems going into this duels but once they took the field, their focus appeared to be on the ball. The early Chiefs goal did not dampen their spirits as they kept surging ahead.

However, there was very little separating the two sides in the first half but Chiefs had more opportunities with Arthur Zwane providing the magic on the flanks. Midfield workhorse Thabo Mooki was also at his best as he complemented the brilliance of Jabu Pule.

Veteran striker Daniel “Mambush” Mudau, who spent the better part of last season in consultation rooms, scored a crucial goal on the stroke of halftime to keep his side in the hunt.

The stocky Mudau stunned the Amakhosi supporters with his 79th minute goal and gave the Brazilians supporters hope in the Top Eight. The Glamour Boys persistently pushed forward and looked dangerous when in the Sundowns territory.

Three minutes of optional time were added and the Brazilians began celebrating victory against their rivals but such celebrations were cut shot. A well-taken corner by Zwane in referee Achmat Salie’s optional time connected to the head of Nzama for the equaliser.


Sundowns: 1-John Tlale, 4-Joas Magolego, 25-Michael Manzini, 6-Bennett Mnguni, 29-Dan Semake, 21-Papi Mbele (16-Fabien McCarthy 61st), 14-Charles Motlohi, 13-Daniel Mudau (8-Alex Bapela 89th), 23-Gift Kampamba, 9-Carlo Scott (26-Lucky Qaba 85th).

Subs: 8-Alex Bapela, 19-Alain Amougou, 26-Lucky Qaba, 15-Isaac Shai, 24-Joel Masilela, 16-Fabien McCarthy, 18-Ronnie Kananelo.

Kaizer Chiefs: 16-Brian Baloyi, 4-Cyril Nzama, 6-Nhlanhla Kubeka, 5-Patrick Mabedi, 25-Marco Mthembu, 18-Arthur Zwane, 12-Thabo Mooki (22-Nhlanhla Mathebula 105th), 28-Patrick Mbuthu, 20-Kenny Niemach (9-Lucky Maselesele 68th), 23-Jossias Macamo (10-Stanton Fredericks 46th), 11-Jabu Pule.

Subs: 1-Rowen Fernandez, 10-Stanton Fredericks, 9-Lucky Maselesele, 24-Isaac Mabotsa, 22-Nhlanhla Mathebula, 3-Rodney Thobejane, 13-Thabiso Malatsi.

Referee: Achmat Salie

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