Kaizer Chiefs (0) 0
Orlando Pirates (0) 0
Kaizer Chiefs win 4-3 after a penalty shootout
It needed the lottery of a penalty shootout, but Kaizer Chiefs scored a morale-boosting 4-3 penalty shootout victory against old rivals Orlando Pirates to win their fourth Carling Black Label Cup at Orlando Stadium
An entertaining Soweto Derby, some shiny silverware and a host of promising performances from the Amakhosi’s new signings, would have given Kaizer Chiefs fans plenty to be excited about ahead of the new season.
Amakhosi new boy Brandon Petersen grabbed the headlines with his penalty shootout saves to deny Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Wayde Jooste, while another new signing Kgaogelo Sekgota capped a fine cameo by confidently slotting home the winning penalty to give Chiefs early season bragging rights against the old enemy.
Chiefs started the game confidently, with Champion Coach Morena Mofokeng dreamily in the dugout, dominating possession and getting the better of the early exchanges.
Amakhosi fans would have enjoyed seeing a sprightly Khama Billiat buzzing in the game’s opening minutes, dangerous and inventive on either end of the pitch.
Orlando Pirates looked off the pace early on, as is to be expected at this stage of pre-season, but the Buccaneers gradually started finding their feet.
The Chiefs back four – of Daniel Cardoso and Erick Mathoho at the heart of defence and Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Happy Mashiane as wing backs – looked solid and composed in the first 20 minutes of the game.
Pirates did get behind the Chiefs defence for once in the 20th minute after a flowing move, with Wayde Jooste’s cross comfortably cut out by Itumeleng Khune in the Chiefs goal after the Pirates right winger had got the better of Mashiane.
As they adjusted to the tempo of the game, it was Pirates who started turning the screws, with Thembinkosi Lorch playing through Fortune Makaringe in the 29th minute after another silky Pirates move, but Makaringe’s shot found the side netting.
After Ben Motshwari brought down Sabelo Radebe in the 40th minute, Chiefs finally got their first shot on target from the resulting free kick, with Mashiane from fully 40 metres out getting a stinging shot on goal, which was comfortably saved by Ofori.
A minute later, though, from a quick counter attack, it was Pirates who nearly got the opener as Thembinkosi Lorch, cutting in from the left, unleashed a rasping shot which was well saved by Khune.
Amakhosi’s perennial fan favourite, Khune, had a fantastic game, dominant in his goal area and crisp with his distribution, as he showed he will be fighting for a Chiefs starting berth in the new season.
At the break, it remained goalless, but definitely Pirates with the ascendancy.
And just two minutes after the restart, in the 47th minute, Lorch again laid on a neat pass for Gabadinho Mhango, which needed some brave defending by Cardoso to thwart the attack.
As per the format of the competition, the fans voted for the first change of the game, and an inspired one it was, as Sekgota was summoned onto the pitch to replace Chiefs youngster Lebohang Lesako in the 56th minute.
Sekgota clearly has plenty of confidence, and oodles of skill, as seconds after taking to the field he confidently stepped up to take a Chiefs free kick from the edge of the Pirates box on the right.
And he so nearly became an instant sensation, as the youngster’s left-footed shot with his first touch thudded against Richard Ofori’s near post upright, with the Pirates keeper well beaten.
A minute later Sekgota again had the crowd on their feet – well, in front of their screens in the comfort of their own homes anyway – as he went on a mazy run, which caused havoc in the Pirates defence and needed a hasty clearance.
There was concern for Chiefs as Billiat pulled up in the 62nd minute with what looked like an injury, but fortunately he was able to continue, to good effect.
In the 64th minute Billiat nodded back a clever header in the Pirates penalty area, which fell inviting to another Chiefs substitute and new signing Cole Alexander, whose shot was snuffed out by Nyauza to deny Alexander a surprise goal with his first touch in a Chiefs shirt.
The game was a humdinger at this point, livened up by the raft of substitutions and fresh faces.
In the 67th minute Pirates again carved open the Chiefs defence, when Mhango found Deon Hotto whose cross found Lorch, whose goal bound shot looked destined for the net, but was brilliantly saved by Khune with his outstretched feet to deny Pirates the opener.
Chiefs were awarded a penalty in the 73rd minute, when substitute Bernard Parker’s lay off fell to Radebe, whose shot ricocheted off Nyauza’s hand, with a spot kick given by referee Thando Ndzandzeka.
Unfortunately for Chiefs, however, Cardoso’s tentative penalty was saved by Ofori diving to his left as the game remained goalless.
When the final whistle blew and spot kicks were needed to decide the outcome, to his credit it was Cardoso who was first to step up for the Amakhosi to confidently atone by slotting in Chiefs’ first penalty of the shootout.
Radebe missed in the shootout, but after Parker and Phathutshedzo Nange scored and Petersen pulled off his heroics to deny Nyauza and Jooste, it was Sekgota who put the icing on a tasty cake with a victory which will give everyone at Naturena a lift as a new season awaits.
Man of the match: Njabulo Blom
Chiefs: Khune © (Petersen 74’); Mashiane (Hlanti 58’), Cardoso; Mathoho, Mphahlele (Nange 58’), Blom, Baccus (Alexander 58’), Lesako (Sekgota 51’), Radebe, Billiat (Agay 86’), Nurković (Parker 58’)
Subs not used: Akpeyi, Bvuma; Kambole, Ntiya-Ntiya, Mokwena, Matsheke, Njabulo Ngcobo
Pirates: Ofori; Hlatswayo, Maela, Jooste, Nyauza, Motshwari, Makaringe (Radiopane 77’), Lorch (Dlamini 77’); Hotto, Monare (Ndlovu 51’), Mhango (Tlolane 77’)
Subs not used: Sandilands, Mpontshane; Dlamini, Ndlovu, Sesane, Makgaka, Shandu