Brilliant! 10 out of 10 for Chiefs

2014-09-20 22:59

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Call it what you like, this game was worthy of a Cup final as both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates lived up to expectations.

Played at the venue where the two teams last won their trophies – interestingly the Nedbank Cup – it was a brilliant game of football as both teams went for each other’s throats from the beginning.

One thing the two coaches – Stuart Baxter and Vladimir Vermezovic – got right was that the game would finish in regulation time.

The win meant Chiefs notched a 10th successive victory in all competitions since the beginning of the season.

The defeat for Pirates meant they have lost four of the five successive Cup finals they have been in.

Before the game, the question was about what the impact of Itumeleng Khune’s absence would be in Chiefs’ defence, but Brilliant Khuzwayo answered all those questions with a man-of-the-match performance.

Khuzwayo was simply brilliant on the night as he kept Pirates at bay on more than three occasions.

There could be only one winner and Chiefs walked away with the R8?million first prize.

As for Pirates, their participation in the final was not worthy of anything extraordinary as they walked away with the R800?000 “participation” prize money.

Although they won last season’s Nedbank Cup at this venue, they could not bury the ghost of last year’s MTN8 final, which they lost to Platinum Stars, also here in Durban.

As for Amakhosi, they triumphed again at the venue they lifted the same Nedbank Cup in 2012.

It was clear from the first whistle that supporters were in for an entertaining affair.

Pirates had a glorious opportunity of taking the lead in the 20th minute but Khuzwayo denied Oupa Manyisa’s effort.

Earlier on, Pirates’ Senzo Meyiwa also came to his team’s rescue when he stopped an effort from Mandla Masango.

Then came the moment Chiefs supporters had been waiting for, when their team stormed into the lead after their captain on the night, Tefu Mashamaite, headed home a George Maluleka free kick in the 28th minute.

This sent the fans into a frenzy with a light drizzle coming down. Pirates’ defence should have done better as Mashamaite was not challenged when he went for the header.

Pirates came back the better side in the second stanza as they were searching for the equaliser. They could have equalised four minutes after the break through Kermit Erasmus, but a wonderful save by Khuzwayo denied him.

He also denied Lehlohonolo Majoro late in the game.

Chiefs, on the other hand, were content with defending their slender lead and absorbing the pressure, hoping to catch Pirates on counterattacks. Bernard Parker almost sealed the game in the 90th minute only for Meyiwa to deny him.

Earlier in the day, the SA Police Service arrested a suspect who was caught trying to sell counterfeit tickets. According to the PSL, the suspect had 100 fake tickets with him.

PSL head of safety and security Phillip Masimong said: “We promised that we will crack down on people with counterfeit tickets.

“We would like to warn those who are intending to sell or purchase fake tickets that they face arrest.

He added: “We are working very closely with the SA Police Service and other security clusters to ensure that only people with legitimate tickets will gain access to the stadium. We thank the SA Police Service for their cooperation.”

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