KAIZER Chiefs beat Free State Stars 4-2 on penalties in a Telkom Knockout quarterfinal clash at the Charles Mopeli Stadium in Phuthaditjhaba on Sunday afternoon.
Bernard Parker scored the decisive penalty as the Amakhosi march into the final four of the competition.
The game was deadlocked at 1-1 after extra time. Sadate Ouro-Akoriko found the back of the net for Free State Stars, while Knowledge Musona replied for Chiefs.
Camaldine Abraw and Basit Adam started up front for Free State Stars with Steve Komphela opting to start Bafana Bafana midfielder Luyolo Nomandela from the bench.
Stuart Baxter included Siphiwe Tshabalala in the starting 11, the game was Shabba’s first since recovering from an injury lay-off.
Morgan Gould and Tefu Mashamaite were again preferred at the heart of defence while Bernard Parker lined up as a lone striker ahead of the attacking midfield combination of Tshabalala, George Lebese and Knowledge Musona.
Both side’s started positively with neither side creating early opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the encounter.
Camaldine Abraw rattled the post for the hosts from a corner-kick while Musona and Willard Katsande went close for the Glamour Boys.
Stars kept the Chiefs midfield quiet in the early exchanges with the likes of Lebese and Tshabalala hardly getting a sniff of the ball.
Danny Venter and Basit Adam proved to be a real threat in the first stanza with the latter missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 29th minute.
The Ghanaian striker who has already found the back of the net on four occasions this season found himself with the ball at his feet and the goal at his mercy but he could only manage to direct his effort over Itumeleng Khune’s crossbar from point blank range.
The near miss seemed to inject a bit of urgency into the visitors as they controlled possession for the rest of the half, Stars though defended well and as a result the half ended goalless.
Chiefs came out the stronger of the two sides after the break, bossing possession but struggling to find a way through the Ea Lla Koto defence.
George Lebese went within a whisker of opening the scoring in the 63rd minute. Daniel Agyei who had been poor throughout the afternoon failed to gather a corner-kick from Parker, Lebese picked up the loose ball before taking a shot, his attempt though only managed to trouble the post.
The Glamour Boys had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 68th minute after Musona was brought down in the area by Sibusiso Mthethwa. Bernard Parker though was denied by Agyei who dove to his left to keep out the Bafana Bafana striker.
Free State Stars won a penalty of their own five minutes later following a clumsy challenge from Willard Katsande on Danny Venter. Sadate Ouro-Akoriko stepped up and buried the ball past Khune.
Parker came close to redeeming himself in the 81st minute, his attempt from range looked destined for the back of the net but he watched on agonisingly as it cannoned of the crossbar.
The Glamour Boys finally found their goal with three minutes remaining on the clock. Siboniso Gaxa picked out Musona who nodded in from close range to send the game into extra-time.
Chances were limited in extra-time as both teams were cautious in their approach wary of the counter-attack and as a result the game was to be decided from the spot.
Chiefs were clinical from the spot, scoring all of their attempts to beat Ea Lla Koto 4-2 on penalties.
The Amakhosi join Platinum Stars and SuperSport United in the final four of the competition.
Free State Stars (0) 1 ( Ouro-Akoriko 73’)
Penalties: Mashego miss, Ouro-Akoriko miss, Bobe scores, Masehe scores
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Musona 87’)
Penalties: Letsolonyane score, Katsande scores, Dladla scores, Parker scores
Stars: Agyei, Masehe,Ouro-Akoriko, Tshabalala, Thebakang, Wiltwer, Mashego, Mthethwa, Venter, Abdul-Basit (Bobe 103’), Abraw (Yende 86’)
Chiefs: Khune, Gaxa (Dladla 106’), Gould, Mashamaite, Masilela, Katsande, Letsholonyane, Tshabalala (Nkhatha 59’), Lebese, Parker, Musona (Nkosi 90+2’)-Backpage TXT