Chiefs set up dream final

2008-08-25 00:00

KAIZER Chiefs progressed to the MTN 8 final yesterday with a 2-1 aggregate score victory, but endured nervous moments in an unconvincing 1-0 defeat in the second leg of the semi-final against Moroka Swallows at Olympia Park.

Chiefs join Mamelodi Sundowns, winners over SuperSport United in a thriller on Saturday night, in the final.

Going into the game 2-0 down from the first leg yesterday, Swallows pulled a goal back early in the second half, then could not capitalise on Chiefs being reduced to 10 men minutes later to find an aggregate equaliser.

Chiefs, the competition's form team, having scored six goals without reply in two games, could not get into rhythm against a Swallows side who worked hard to close down the spaces. On-form duo Jose Torrealba and Gert Schalkwyk were particularly disappointing, with Torrealba red-carded in the 56th minute, and both players marked out of the game.

Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral blamed the performance on "poor attitude".

"The first 45 minutes were an absolute disaster," Ertugral said. "This is the South African mentality that I have experienced in all these years - the players think that at 2-0 the job is done. I am not happy at all."

Swallows pushed hard to reduce the deficit in the first half. Striker Sandile Ndlovu had the ball in the net in the seventh minute from Lefa Tsutsulupa's cross, but was correctly ruled offside. Then the industrious Tsutsulupa found space just inside the area, and his powerful shot was well saved by Chiefs goalkeeper Emille Baron.

Late in the half, Ndlovu robbed Chiefs defender Jonathan Quartey and slipped his shot from the edge of the box wide of goal.

Swallows did pull a goal back in the 47th minute, giving themselves almost an entire half to seek another. James Mayinga's long throw-in was half-cleared and winger Ryan Botha slammed in a left-footed shot through a crowded area on the half-volley.

The Birds should have notched up their equaliser in the 52nd minute when Cecil Oersen's cross from the right found Morgan Shivambu completely free in the middle, but the forward glanced his header inches wide.

There was a South American edge to the sending-off soon afterwards, as Swallows received a further boost and things seemed to be falling apart for Chiefs. Venezuelan Torrealba was shown a straight red by referee Peter Mabuza for retaliating after having his fingers stepped on by Brazilian defender Ignetius Da Silva.

Swallows, though, could not capitalise on the one-man advantage.

Sapa reports that Saturday's MTN 8 semi-final, second leg at the Super Stadium had just about everything. A five-goal thriller containing some exhilarating football was clinched by a 118th-minute goal by Sundowns' Lerato Chabangu. That made it 3-2 to SuperSport, but 4-4 on aggregate.

With Downs having won the first leg 2-1 - and Saturday's second leg being the "home" fixture for the Brazilians at the stadium that is used by both teams - Sundowns went through on more away goals scored.

The game was marred by an ugly scuffle minutes before the break after Sundowns left-back Shere Lekgothoane hacked down Anthony Laffor with a late challenge that saw the SuperSport attacker stretchered off and taken to hospital.

After a goalless first half, Daine Klate opened the scoring for United in the 55th minute. Surprise Moriri made it 1-1, and 3-2 on aggregate to Downs, when he scored in the 85th. But referee Charl Theron awarded a 90th-minute penalty after Martin Carelse was fouled in the area. He stepped up to slot the spot-kick.

Klaite made it 3-1 29 seconds into extra-time before Chabangu provided another last-gasp reprieve for Downs.

MTN 8 semi-final second leg results

Saturday: SuperSport United 3 Mamelodi Sundowns 2 (Aggregate 4-4. Sundowns progress on awa- goals rule.)

Yesterday: Moroka Swallows 1 Kaizer Chiefs 0

(Chiefs won 2-1 on aggregate).

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