Saile seals Nedbank Cup progression after Maritzburg battle
Saile seals Nedbank Cup progression after Maritzburg battle

Posted in Match Report, News, Team News on Feb 11, 2023.

Maritzburg United (0) 0

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 2 

Saile 91’, du Preez 112’

After Extra Time

Kaizer Chiefs striker Christian Saile ran his socks off on his full Amakhosi debut and was rewarded with a decisive goal in a dogged 2-0 Nedbank Cup last 32 win against Maritzburg United, as Chiefs finally advanced after a titanic 120 minute tussle.

Saile was given his first start by coach Arthur Zwane in place of the injured Caleb Bimenyimana and he added a different dimension to the Kaizer Chiefs attack from the outset.

Chiefs started the game confidently on the front foot, though they had an early scare in the fifth minute when Maritzburg striker Kwame Peprah’s shot took a wicked deflection off Edmilson Dove and looked to be dipping into the Chiefs net, needing Brandon Petersen to be alert to tip the fortuitous effort over the crossbar.

It would be one of Maritzburg's few first half chances, though, as Chiefs dominated proceedings in the opening stanza and applied plenty of pressure on the home team.

Saile formed a good partnership upfront with Ashley du Preez and his movement and awareness also created space and attacking opportunities for the likes of Mdu Shabalala.

The young Chiefs midfielder has plenty of talent and quality, and showed more of a cutting edge to his game, getting into the box and unleashing two first half shots on goal which tested the impressive King Ndlovu in the Maritzburg goal.

From a rare Maritzburg attacking foray in the 36th minute, Ali Meza brought out the best in Petersen. The striker’s shot from long range looking destined for the far top corner before being brilliantly tipped to safety by the acrobatic Chiefs keeper.

The game was turned on its head a minute later, as Maritzburg captain Travis Graham was given his marching orders by referee Abongile Tom, after he scythed down Shabalala. The teenager had broken clean through on goal after a speedy Chiefs counter before Graham stopped him abruptly – and illegally – to give the referee no option but to produce a red card.

Chiefs looked to make their numberical advantage count immediately when, in first half injury time, du Preez let rip with a cracker from outside the box which was swerving viciously in mid-air before being pushed away by Ndlovu, who was having an inspired game.

Just before the break there was time for another goalbound effort from Yusuf Maart, but again Ndlovu was equal to the task, and the sides headed into the break still goalless.

Sadly, Shabalala needed to be substituted at half time, still feeling the effects of the heavy Graham challenge, and was replaced by Wandile Duba.

Chiefs continued where they left off after the break, with Saile’s snap shot hitting the side netting and, moments later, du Preez was yet again denied by Ndlovu, as Chiefs grew increasingly impatient looking for the game’s opening goal.

Ten-man Maritzburg gave a hint of their own threat, as Karim Kimvuidi found space on the edge of the Chiefs box, but couldn’t get any power on his volley when given a good sight of the Chiefs goal.

Maart, too, had a good chance just past the hour mark, but flashed his effort over the crossbar, while coach Zwane called for calm heads and more composed finishing.

In the 69th minute, Maritzburg had their best chance of the game when substitute Rowan Human got the better of Zitha Kwinika in a tussle on the edge of the Chiefs box and put his laces through a blistering shot on goal, which Petersen equalled, pulling off a wonder save to deflect the goalbound effort over the bar.

It was Chiefs, though, who finished the game the strongest, with substitute Kgaogelo Sekgota spurning a glorious chance as he mis-timed a far post header from Kwinika’s deep cross with the goal gaping.

Somehow, the game finished goalless in regulation time and the game headed into extra time.

One minute into the extra 30 minutes, Chiefs finally broke the deadlock. Substitute, Happy Mashiane’s deep cross from the left was brilliantly kept in play by Kwinika whose looping goalbound header looked to be dipping under the crossbar. Ndlovu, in all kinds of trouble, could only palm it into the path of Saile, who applied the finish Chiefs fans had been patiently waiting for.

Chiefs had further chances to extend their advantage, but were nearly punished themselves three minutes into the second period of extra time, when substitute Amadou Soukouna’s shot skimmed the Chiefs upright.

In the 112th minute of the game, though, Mashiane, was again involved in setting up another Chiefs goal. His brilliant cross from the left fell invitingly for du Preez, who buried his finish at the far post to kill off the game for Chiefs.

It was a hard-fought victory for Chiefs and they earned their spot in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup.


Chiefs XI: Petersen (1); Hlanti (23) Mashiane 80’, Dove (2), Ngezana (30), Kwinika (4) Nj Ngcobo 118’, Maart (8) Nange 80’, Sithebe (6), Shabalala (42) Duba 45’, Dolly © (10) Sekgota 63’, Du Preez (9), Saile Basomboli (21) Matlou 118’

Subs: Khune (32); Mathoho (3), Zwane (37)

Coach: Arthur Zwane

Maritzburg XI: Ndlovu (31), Tlolane (50), De Goede (3), Palace (28), Graham © (6), Cross (2), Moloisane (23), Jooste (45), Meza (14), Kimvuidi (26), Peprah (46)

Subs: Leaner (32), Ndengane (27), Samu (20), Bhengu (24), Makume (5), Buthelezi (40), Human (10), Ritchie (16), Soukouna (11)

Coach: Fadlu Davids

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