MTN8: George Maluleka boosts Chiefs

2014-08-17 10:07

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A brace by George Maluleka saw Chiefs take a huge leap towards the 2014 MTN8 Cup final.

The two sides meet in the second leg of the semifinal at FNB Stadium next Sunday.

It took 51 minutes for the Amakhosi faithful to get on their feet and celebrate Maluleka’s first strike when he blasted home from just outside the box following a poor goal line clearance from Luvolwethu Mpeta.

Then, with a minute of normal time remaining, he took a top-drawer free kick that left goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane clutching at grass.

The teams had been deadlocked at half-time and the match looked headed for a goalless stalemate.

Mandla Masango’s header straight to goalkeeper Mpontshane from an inch-perfect Tsepo Masilela cross three minutes to the break summed up a first half that turned out to be like a second-hand car – promising a lot but delivering very little.

The first nine minutes or so saw Chiefs virtually camping in Stars’ half but failing to threaten Mpontshane’s goal.

By the time the game reached the 15-minute mark, some people might have been dosing off as none of the two men between the sticks had been tested.

It was only in 18th minute that Itumeleng Khune had to come out of slumberland to pull off a brilliant save from a Tintswalo Tshabalala header that followed a well-taken Vuyo Mere free kick.

From then on, Tshabalala played like a man on some energy drink we are told gives you wings.

This saw the pendulum swing almost 180 degrees as Stars were now on top of the Amakhosi.

Two minutes after Tshabalala’s effort, Robert Ng’ambi took a shot that shaved the top of the crossbar and within two minutes, Ndumiso Mabena found himself with hectors of space between the Chiefs central defenders and tried to lob the ball over the advancing Khune.

He looked in dismay as it sailed way over.

Solomon Mathe could have put his side ahead in the 34th minute but delayed to control the ball and eventually collided with Khune, thus earning himself a yellow card from referee Zolile Mthetho.

And so Chiefs go into the second leg with a two-goal advantage.

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