Maritzburg TKO'd on penalties
22 October 2016
Maritzburg United dominated their Telkom Knockout game against Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night, but lost 4-2 on penalties after the 120 minutes had ended 0-0.
Chiefs had the first chance of the game in as early as the second minute when a mistake at the back saw Mitchell Katsvairo with a chance, but the Zimbabwean just failed to squeeze in the shot at the far post after Maritzburg keeper Bongani Mpandle close the angle.
The rest of the half though was to be dominated by Ernst Middendorp’s men, who created a succession of chances and generally looked sharper and more purposeful.
They also appeared to be unlucky not to get a 17th minute penalty after Kgotso Moleko had handled the ball in his own box.
The young Luyanda Ntshangase was giving Erick Mathotho the run-around and after dispossessing the Amakhosi defender in the box, Ntshangase was only denied a goal by a brave block by Itumeleng Khune.
Then Team of Choice’s fortunate continued to elude them in front of goal as Denis Weidlich took the ball off George Lebese and then smashed a 25-yard drive viciously into the upright on 33 minutes.
Ntshangase had another shot saved by Khune before Lorenzo Gordinho cleared the ball off his own line after a Maritzburg corner as the KZN side went into the break without reward for what had been some excellent play.
Chiefs enjoyed a good spell after the break but failed to capitalise as Lebese dragged his 50th minute shot wide of goal with only Mpandle to beat, the goalkeeper then keeping out a stinging Sibusiso Khumalo shot at the near post.
But Maritzburg continued to look dangerous and were nearly ahead when Weidlich found space at the far post at a cross, but Khune did brilliantly to tip his 66th minute shot over the bar.
A storm and subsequent floodlight failure on 83 minutes saw the match paused for 20 minutes before play resumed.
The final minutes of regulation time passed without much incident, but as extra time got underway, Chiefs burst to life with two quick chances, but William Twala failed to convert from close range as the ball skidded off the wet turf before Siphiwe Tshabalala went close from 25-yards.
Kurt Lentjies had two chances early in the second period of extra time, while in the 117th minute Chiefs were within a whisker of winning the game when the ball bounced off Mathotho’s chest five yards out from goal and brushed the upright.
The contest went to a penalty shootout and United were immediately in the back-foot when Lentjies was cruelly denied by the post after having had a superb game for his team. Willard Katsande, Lebese, Gordinho and Keagan Buchanan all netted their penalties, while Deolin Mekoa fired high and wide as Chiefs somehow emerged victorious on a night in which they had underwhelmed.
* report via ANA