Referee Victor Gomes gave three players their marching orders as Kaizer Chiefs had to come from behind to ensure a 1-1 draw against a determined AmaZulu outfit in the MTN8 semi-final first leg at FNB Stadium on Sunday.
Veluyeke Zulu and Gabadinho Mhango were both sent off. At the same time, Lehlogonolo George Matlou, an unused Kaizer Chiefs substitute, was also shown a red card for an off-field incident in the drama-filled encounter.
Amakhosi needed a second-half goal from substitute Keagan Dolly to cancel Gabadinho Mhango's 13-minute first-half goal, silencing the home crowd.
The away team, mentored by Brandon Truter, were quickest out of the blocks, with Dumisani Zuma's early shot well saved by veteran goalkeeper Ithumeleng Khune, who secured his third start in poles for Arthur Zwane's charges.
Mbongeni Gumede then tried his luck, but 36-year-old Khune was again equal to the task.
Chiefs new recruit Edmilson Dove was close on five minutes, but he pulled his shot wide, while Mhango's ninth-minute effort was too high.
More chances arrived for Chiefs as Njabulo Blom, and Makhehlene Makhaula were wasteful with their goalscoring opportunities. However, Mhango made no mistake with his left-footed shot centre of the Chiefs penalty area that arrowed into the bottom right corner of the net.
Dove, Ashley Du Preez and Yusuf Maart did not have their shooting boots as their golden scoring opportunities were either wide or saved by 'keeper Veli Mothwa before the half-time whistle sounded.
Dolly replaced Siyethemba Sithebe at the start of the second period and almost made an immediate impact, only for his goal-bound shot to be blocked by Mothwa.
The tall and physical presence of Bonfils Bimenyimana latched onto a good Dolly cross, but he too was denied by the stubborn AmaZulu defence.
Gomes then showed Zulu his marching orders for a second yellow card, inspiring Chiefs as Dolly netted from close range.
The substitute levelled matters as he latched onto a pass from Dillan Solomons to fire into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Dove should have handed Chiefs the lead soon after, but his directed header went over the crossbar, and the same player was guilty of at least one more miss as the match reached its plateau.
But not before two more red cards.
First, Mhango was shown his marching order in the 90th minute, while Matlou was cautioned nine minutes later to bring an end to an entertaining first leg.
The return leg will take place on Sunday, 23 October, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.