Wits edge Chiefs to final

18 November 2017

Kaizer Chiefs                                0

Bidvest Wits                            (1) 1 (Keene 28’)

Kaizer Chiefs failed to reach the Telkom Knockout final, losing 1-0 to Bidvest Wits, despite an excellent performance in the second half. Amakhosi played with ten men for most of the game, as Wiseman Meyiwa received a red-card in the 27th minute.

George Maluleka returned to the starting line-up after having missed out on the 1-0 win over Chippa United in the previous round of the Telkom Knockout. Meyiwa came in for ‘Mido’ in that match and he continued to be in the starting XI, being selected ahead of Hendrick Ekstein.

The Clever Boys started the game very aggressively, trying to close down the Chiefs players early on. It resulted in a first chance for their Egyptian striker Ahmed Gamal Amr, but Itumeleng Khune made a fine save.

The home side dominated the initial stage of the game, having 65% of the ball possession. They also had a shout for a penalty when Gamal Amr felt he was brought down in the Chiefs box, but referee Victor Gomes waved away the appeal.

Then, in the 27th minute, Willard Katsande fiercely tackled Daine Klate, who fell down, only for Meyiwa to stamp on his calf. The referee spotted it and decided to send the young midfielder off, which was a major blow for the Glamour Boys.

To make matters worse, Wits’ James Keene headed the ball past Khune into the back of the net barely a minute later, 1-0.

It took Amakhosi some time to recover from these two set-backs in the space of a minute, but they started to play better during the last ten minutes of the first half. This boded well for the second half.

Gustavo Páez came on at the start of the second half. There was a much improved performance by Chiefs in the second half, despite being down with one man.

The Venezuelan striker proved to be a handful for the Wits defence, running a lot and continuously appearing behind the opponent’s defenders.

Willard Katsande and George Maluleka were working hard in the centre of midfield, winning balls and putting good pressure on their counterparts.

Coach Steve Komphela brought on Dumsani Zuma for Bernard Parker in the 65th minute and he nearly scored immediately, trying to curve the ball past the Wits goalkeeper, but the ball just missed the target.

Chiefs continued to push and there was another chance for Zuma in the 74th minute. Siphiwe Tshabalala, who also did well in the second half, delivered an excellent pass through the middle to Zuma, but the Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet stood his ground, blocking the ball from going into the goal.

It was a much improved performance from the Glamour Boys and they more than deserved a goal, but it wasn’t to be.

Key moment in the match:

That was the moment Wiseman Meyiwa stamped on Daine Klate’s leg with his foot. It’s far from clear if there was any malicious intent behind the midfielder’s action, but referee Victor Gomes decided otherwise and gave Meyiwa his marching orders in the 27th minute. One minute later Wits scored the opening goal.

Most Valuable Player (MVP):

Kaizer Chiefs fought hard in the second half with Gustavo Páez doing excellently after coming in the 47th minute. Another who did well as a substitute was Dumsani Zuma, who got in great goalscoring positions a few times. It was only pity that he couldn’t finish one of those. However, it was Bidvest Wits’ Xola Mlambo who was handed the Man of the Match award.

What it means:

It means that Kaizer Chiefs are out of the Telkom Knockout. However, there are still two important trophies to play for, the Absa Premiership and the Nedbank Cup.

Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Cardoso (Páez 47’), Mathoho, Ngezana; Molangoane, Katsande, Meyiwa, Maluleka, Zulu (Ekstein 79’); Tshabalala, Parker (Zuma 65’)

Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Gordinho, Jayiya, Malope

Bidvest Wits 11: Keet; Frosler, Ntshangase, Mkhwanazi, Tlhone; Monare, Mlambo, Klate (Pienaar 69’), Hlanti; Gamal Amr, Keene (Pelembe 85’)

Subs not used: Peters, Khumalo, Pule, Phiri, Gordinho

Next Match:

Kaizer Chiefs next face AmaZulu on the road at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday, 22 November. Kick-off is at 19:30.