Chiefs take the Horn

Premier League giants Kaizer Chiefs won the Vodacom Challenge exhibition soccer tournament with a narrow 1-0 victory over defending champions and arch-rivals Orlando Pirates at Absa Stadium in Durban on Sunday.

Young substitute Lucky Maselesele scored four minutes from the

final whistle for the Amakhosi to lift the competition’s

horn-shaped trophy and the R500 000 first prize.

Another substitute, Doctor Khumalo, played a pass to striker

Siyabonga Nomvete who squared the ball for Maselesele, who had come

on for Arthur Zwane in the 77th minute, to side-foot it home from

close to the line.

Pirates had started the game as the busier of the two sides, but

they struggled to go wide with the result that there were few

crosses for strikers Denis Lota and Phumlani Mkhize to feed on in

the box.

Chiefs soon settled down and came close to scoring twice midway

through the half through their two Namibian internationals. In the

28th minute Mohamed Auseb had his headed attempt cleared off the

line by Pirates midfielder Vusi Mcwango and two minutes later

Robert Nauseb saw his header crash against the upright.

Chiefs controlled the rest of the half and their midfield became

more stable in the second half when Khumalo, who missed last week’s

semifinals with a toe problem, was brought on for Daniel Matsau.

Nomvete had the ball in the net in 68th minute as a spin-off from a

free-kick, but the effort was ruled out by Zimbabwean referee Felix

Tangawarima for offside.

A short while later Pirates had their best chance of the game when

striker Lota beat two Chiefs players and put the ball through for

Benedict Vilakazi, but the substitute shot hopeless wide from

inside the box.

The game became more exciting towards the end and fortunately for

Chiefs’ strong following, Maselesele had the final say in the 86th

minute.