Amakhosi progress in Champions League

10 April 2021

Horoya AC         (1) 2 (Gnagna 45+2’, Camara 69’)

Kaizer Chiefs    (0) 2 (Cardoso 67’ pen, Billiat 76’)

 

Kaizer Chiefs earned a 2-2 draw a way to Horoya in Conakry in their final Group C match in the CAF Champions League. The result saw Amakhosi progress to the Quarterfinals of the 2020/21 competition in their first ever group stage participation in the Champions League. Chiefs had to work hard for their point at the General Lansana Conté Stadium. The hosts looked content to play out for a draw and took the lead late in the first half through Yakhouba Gnagna. Chiefs drew level through a Daniel Cardoso penalty in the 67th minute, only to fall behind to a Fode Camara goal. Amakhosi never relented and continued to push, eventually drawing level again through Khama Billiat in the 76th minute.

Early on for Chiefs Erick Mathoho needed medical attention after sustaining a head injury. After treatment, he continued with his head heavily bandaged.

In the 11th minute, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo dragged an effort from a long way out wide of goal.

Soon after that, Alseny Camara chased down a long ball down the right, he managed to pick it up and lifted the ball over towards goal. Yakhouba Gnagna headed the ball from close range at Itumeleng Khune but sent his effort over the Chiefs keeper and out for a goal kick in the 15th minute.

With the hosts happy to play at a slow pace and bide their time at working openings, they were able to do so in the 27th with Morlaye Sylla working space for himself before driving a shot with some venom at Khune. The Chiefs keeper managed to stand his ground and blocked away the ball to keep his goal intact.

In the 33rd minute, the Chiefs keeper was again busy, this time getting down on his knees to handle an effort by Gnagna from inside the Chiefs 18-yard area. The attacker was played clear into space down the right but was unable to properly execute his final effort at goal.

The 43rd minute saw Khune make another save off another close-range header from Boniface Haba after he had managed to connect with a free kick from the right by Baffour Sebe. The fourth official had lifted the board for one additional minute of additional time. Horoya got a second successive corner. Although the one minute was already up, the referee allowed for it to be taken. Sebe was able to float the ball in from the right and Gnagna jumped highest to meet the ball and head it beyond Khune to put the hosts 1-0 ahead.

The teams went into the break with Horoya 1-0 ahead.

After the restart, Horoya managed to create the first opportunity in the 48th minute. Haba had done well to run beyond the Chiefs defence and created an opening for Mandela Ocansey who wasted a good goal scoring opportunity by sending his effort blazing over Khune’s goal post.

Chiefs won a penalty in the 66th minute after Siyabonga Ngezana delicately lifted the ball into the Horoya 18-yard area, where Chiefs substitute Dumsani Zuma managed to connect with the ball and attempted to cross it over. The ball struck Oula Traore on his outstretched arm and the referee pointed to the spot. From the resulting spot kick, Cardoso drilled the ball home to make it 1-1.

Parity did not last for long and in the 69th minute, the hosts went ahead again. Reeve Frosler attempted to clear a corner from the right, the ball grazed his head and fell invitingly for Fode Camara, who headed the ball home to make it 2-1.

Amakhosi did not give up and fought back for a second time as they levelled the score at 2-2 in the 76th minute. Frosler did well to win the ball on the right wing and played it sidewards to Ngcobo who rolled the ball forward to Zuma. He in turn looked up and cut the ball across goal to Billiat who gently side-footed the ball past a diving Robert Odongkara who was helpless to stop Chiefs from making it 2-2.

Deep into referee’s added time at the end of the game, Khune backtracked and made a game saving save by tracking back to palm away a strike at goal from Sylla which bounced awkwardly as it honed in on goal, as Chiefs held on for a draw. As a result of their two away goals, Amakhosi progressed to the Quarterfinals by having a better head-to-head record against the Guineans.

 

Fact of the Game:

This is the first time a South African club have progressed beyond the Group Stages of the CAF Champions League after being drawn in the same group as Horoya. In 2018 and 2018-19 Horoya, advanced at the expense of Sundowns and Pirates. It is also the first time two South African Clubs reach the Quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League in the same season, with Sundowns and Chiefs through to the last eight, since the competition in its current format introduced a Quarterfinal in 2017.

 

Number of the Game 2:

Khama Billiat scored an away goal in the CAF Champions League against Horoya for the second time. He opened the scoring in a 2018 CAF Champions League group stage game for Sundowns in Conakry. On that occasion, the game also ended 2-2.

 

Most Valuable Player (MVP):

Zuma proved to be an inspired substitution. He was instrumental in winning the penalty soon after coming on and laid on the assist for Billiat’s goal. Khune made numerous telling saves to keep Chiefs in the game. While there were notable performances from Frosler and Ngcobo as well.

Teams:

Chiefs:  Khune; Mathoho, Ngezana , Cardoso; Mashiane (Kambole 46’), Frosler,  Blom, Ngcobo (Katsande 80’), Parker ©, Manyama (Zuma 65’); Billiat (Mphahlele 87’)

Subs not used:  Bvuma; Sasman, Baccus,

Horoya: Ondongkara; F Camara, Diaw, Traore, A Camara; Coulibaly,  Haba ( Djibo Wonkoye 82’) ,  Sylla, Ocansey © (Sakin 64’),  Sebe (Nikiema 82’); Barry (Makambo 82’)

Sub not used: Ndiaye; Doumbouya, Abou Camara

 

What’s Next?

Chiefs are next in action in the DStv Premiership on 15 April when they travel to face Baroka in Polokwane.