A goal from Mandla Masango was enough to hand Kaizer Chiefs victory as they beat BidVest Wits 2-1 in their MTN8 quarterfinal match at FNB stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The other goals were scored by two debutants as Sboniso Gumede opened the scoring for Wits and Bernard Parker found the back of the net for Chiefs from the penalty spot.
It was certainly an exciting opening 45 minutes as the action flowed from end to end and we saw three goals scored. Wits definitely produced the better football, but still went into the half time break a goal behind thanks to some impressive finishing.
The match got off to a flying start and we only had to wait 11 minutes before we saw the game’s first goal.
A great pass from Sifiso Myeni saw Bhongolwethu Jayiya through on goal and with only the keeper to beat. He let rip with his shot from about 16-yards out, but Itumeleng Khune produced a wonderful save diving low to his left to make a fingertip save and conceded a corner-kick.
It was from this corner that we saw the game’s opening goal. Jayiya whipped in the cross and Sboniso Gumede got to the ball at the front post ahead of his marker Mthokozisi Yende and powerfully headed the ball home to score on his debut, 1-0.
Chiefs, though, were not intent to sit back and levelled matters nine minutes later as Gumede went from hero to villain.
Bernard Parker supplied a good through ball for Mandla Masango to run onto, but he was pulled down inside the box by Gumede and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot.
Parker stepped up to take the penalty-kick and made no mistake sending the keeper the wrong way as he found the back of the net with a cool finish, also scoring on his debut, 1-1.
Following the second goal it was all Wits as they dominated the flow and pace of the play.
The Students looked exceptionally dangerous in attack with their short, crisp passing game which caused problems for the Chiefs defence.
Still, despite dominating the possession stakes, Wits couldn’t create any clear-cut chances on goal and instead the Amakhosi found the game’s third goal four minutes before the break.
Another debutant for Chiefs, Lehlohonolo Majoro this time supplied a clever chipped through ball for Masango. Wits keeper, Emile Baron tried to rush off his line to collect the pass, but Masango flicked the ball over him and headed the ball into the back of the net to give Chiefs the lead, very much against the run of play, 2-1.
The second half was never going to have the same pace as the first did and as the players tired the tackles got that little bit rougher in the midfield which made for a slightly less entertaining second 45.
Still, Chiefs did have the better of the chances and Majoro pulled the best out of Baron in the 62nd minute when he met a low cross from Siphiwe Tshabalala. The Wits keeper, though, used his feet well to deny the Chiefs attacker from 12-yards out.
In the 76th minute Tshabalala was in the thick of the action again when he let rip with a powerful shot from 30-yards out, but again Baron was in fine form palming the powerful shot away from goal.
A minute later and Jayiya should really have drawn his side level when he found himself in a one-on-one situation with Khune, but the Bafana Bafana keeper did well to make himself big and smother the attacker.
The game finished 2-1 and Chiefs moved into the semifinals of the MTN8.
Kaizer Chiefs (2)2 (Parker 20’ pen, Masango 41’)
BidVest Wits (1) 1 (Gumede 11’)
Chiefs: Khune; Tau, Isaacs, Sweswe, Ritchie, Masango, Yende (Baloyi 70’), Nengomasha, Tshabalala, Parker (Dladla 85’), Majoro (Motaung Jnr 64’)
Wits: Baron; Mngomezulu, Spencer, Gumede (Batabaire 23’), Phungwayo, Fredericks (Haskins 78’), Sibande, Jayiya, Vilakazi (Mngomeni 67’), Myeni, Chapman-Backpagepix