26 August 2018
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Billiat 19’, Castro 46’)
SuperSport United (2) 2 (Grobler 24, 38’)
Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United played to a two-all draw in the first leg of the MTN8 semi-final at Atteridgeville’s Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Khama Billiat scored the opening goal after which Matsatsantsa countered with a brace from Bradley Grobler. Leonardo Castro netted the equaliser just after the half-time break. It was a fascinating encounter to watch.
Dumsani Zuma was back in the starting line-up after having missed the previous match against Maritzburg United due to flu. This time it was Gustavo Páez who couldn’t join the squad to Atteridgeville as a result of flu.
Bhongolethu Jayiya was handed his first start this season. The midfielder was operating on the right side of midfield.
Chiefs started like a house on fire, trying to get an early goal. But the home side got into the game more after this early onslaught of Amakhosi and created a few chances to score of their own.
Especially Billiat had a brilliant first half, always looking a threat when in possession of the ball. Zuma also did well, keeping the SuperSport defenders on their toes.
And it was Zuma who supplied in the 19th minute the cross from the left side to Billiat, who neatly finished from close range, 1-0.
Matsantsantsa started to play better after Chiefs’ goal and Bradley Grobler got two opportunities to score, but Itumeleng Khune was alert, saving both times.
But there was nothing the Amakhosi goalkeeper could do to stop Grobler’s shot from inside the box from going into the back of the net. It was the equaliser in the 24th minute.
Shortly thereafter, SuperSport’s Dean Furman had a fierce shot at goal from outside the box which hit the crossbar, to Khune’s obvious relief.
To make matters worse, Grobler netted his second goal in the 38th minute, helping his side to a 2-1 lead. That’s also how the first half finished.
Chiefs had a great sta
Key moment in the match:
That must be Leonardo Castro’s goal inside a minute after the half-time break. It certainly motivated his side to have an impressive performance in the second half in which the only minus was that Kaizer Chiefs were unable to score more goals.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Khama Billiat had a fantastic performance, also combining well with his fellow striker up-front, Leonardo Castro who also had a good game, especially in the second half. Central midfielder Siphelele Ntshangase and left-back Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya did well too. The Man of the Match award, however, was handed to United’s Bradley Grobler.
What it means:
The two-all draw means that Kaizer Chiefs can reach the MTN8 final if they win at home next week with a one-goal difference or more. A goalless or one-all draw will also be enough to progress thanks to having scored two crucial away goals.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Mphahlele, Ngezana, Cardoso, Ntiya-Ntiya; Zuma (Zulu 72’), Katsande, Ntshangase, Jayiya (Parker 70’); Billiat, Castro (Moon 90’)
Subs not used: Bvuma, Mathoho, Meyiwa, Ekstein
SuperSport United 11: Williams; Ntshangase, Khumalo, Daniels, Modiba; Lakay (Phala 70’), Letsholoyane (Keene 60’), Furman, Lungu; Grobler, Rusike (Mnyamane 72’)
Subs not used: Pule, Gould, Boateng, Mokoena
Kaizer Chiefs have two important fixtures coming up this week. The first is an Absa Premiership match against Bloemfontein Celtic at FNB Stadium on Wednesday, 29 August (kick-off is at 19:30), followed by the second leg of the MTN8 semi-final versus SuperSport United at FNB Stadium on Saturday night, 1 September (kick-off at 20:15).