21 April 2018
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Free State Stars (2) 2 (Tchilimbou 1’, 34’)
Kaizer Chiefs were edged 2-0 by Free State Stars in a Nedbank Cup semifinal match at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening. Amakhosi got numerous opportunities to score and get back into the game, but they failed to find the back of the net.
Erick Mathoho returned to the line-up after having recovered from his concussion sustained two weeks ago in the game against Chippa United. Ramahlwe Mphahlele was also fit again, but started the game on the bench, while Teenage Hadebe’s ankle injured hadn’t fully healed.
There was an early set-back when Chiefs already conceded a goal after 45 seconds. Stars’ Congolese striker Harris Tchilimbou headed in the 1-0.
Thereafter, Amakhosi took control of the game, creating a number of goalscoring opportunities. The first came in the 5th minute, but Ryan Moon, who worked hard, headed the ball over the crossbar.
The striker got another chance, three minutes later, but this time the header flew wide of goal.
Joseph Molangoane was another who got an opportunity to score, from close range, but the Stars goalkeeper made a fine save.
Chiefs had most of the ball possession, but it was the visitors that found the back of the net again, in the 34th minute. And it was another fine finish from Tchilimbou, leaving Itumeleng Khune no chance.
That’s when coach Steve Komphela decided to ring the changes, bringing on Dumsani Zuma for Philani Zulu.
There was a good chance for Willard Katsande to get a goal just before the break, but his header missed the target.
The half-time scored stayed therefore 1-0 for the visitors.
There was another substitution at the start of the second half with Leonardo Castro coming on for Tsepo Masilela.
There was a dangerous counter-attack from Stars just after the break, but Sinethemba Jantjie kicked the ball into the side netting.
From there on, Amakhosi took control of the game, getting more chances to score. There were two good opportunities for Castro, but he couldn’t find the target.
Meanwhile, the pressure continued to build on the Stars defence. There was a clear goalscoring opportunity for Hendrick Ekstein to bring Chiefs back into the game, but Thela Ngobeni made an excellent save. The former Glamour Boy had a brilliant game in goal.
Willard Katsande, as usual, was fighting hard in midfield for every ball, while Molangoane had a few good runs on the flank. Other players who did well were Siphiwe Tshabalala and Bernard Parker.
The chances to get back into the game kept coming, including again for Ekstein and Castro, but the ball just didn’t want to find the back of the net.
In the end, it wasn’t good enough.
Key moment in the match:
That must surely be Free State Stars’ opening goal already after 45 seconds from their Congolese Harris Tchilimbou. It was a major set-back for Amakhosi very early into the game.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
The Chiefs players fought hard, but it wasn’t their day. Instead, it was the former Amakhosi goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni who was selected as the Man of the Match for a superb performance making numerous outstanding saves.
What it means:
It means that Kaizer Chiefs are out of the Nedbank Cup. Instead, Free State Stars will go to the final.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Mathoho, Cardoso, Masilela (Castro 46’); Molangoane, Katsande, Ekstein, Tshabalala, Zulu (Zuma 38’); Parker, Moon (Mphahlele 65′)
Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Ngezana, Maluleka, Ntshangase
Free State Stars 11: Ngobeni; Mobbie, Keita, Mahamutsa, Phungwayo; Dlamini, Vilikazi, Masehe, Jantjie (Mashego 77’); Mthembu (Anas 93’), Tchilimbou (Teyise 80’)
Subs not used: Sangare, Makhaula, Cosse, Maphakisa
Kaizer Chiefs will face Golden Arrows on the road in an Absa Premiership fixture at KwaMashu’s Princess Magogo Stadium on Tuesday evening, 24 April 2018 (kick-off at 19:30).