Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 United FC: AmaKhosi beat brave United FC to advance to the final
AmaKhosi advanced to the Nedbank Cup final with a 2-1 win over United FC in a semifinal clash played at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night
By Ernest Makhaya
The visitors started well and looked comfortable on the ball, but they got punished just after five minutes when Bernard Parker beat an offside trap before playing the ball to Lehlohonolo Majoro to make it 1-0 with an easy tap-in.
AmaKhosi never put their foot off the pedal and nearly doubled their lead in the 16th minute when Parker beat two of United FC defenders, but the Bafana striker played the ball across when he should have taken a shot.
United FC continued to knock the ball around harmlessly and tried to test Khune from distance, but the Chiefs skipper easily collected.
Chiefs then doubled the lead in the 25th minute through George Lebese who followed up from Majoro’s well struck shot that hit the crossbar to nod from close range.
The visitors should have pulled one back on 32 minutes after some brilliant play from the right hand side, but Khune threw his body in front of the ball to allow Siyabulela Shai no space and Willard Katsande had to clear off the line from Alfred Lekata’s shot with Khune well beaten.
Both teams were comfortable on the ball, but United FC were much superior as Chiefs often gave possession away, more especially when launching attacks, but they could not penetrate the Chiefs defence.
Parker should have got himself on the score sheet a few seconds before the interval, but he couldn’t keep his effort on target as his shot sailed over the bar.
United FC continued to dominate possession from their own half in the second 45 minutes, but never pushed forward to put their opponents under pressure.
Majoro should have grabbed his second of the night in the 53rd minute after being played through by Parker, but the former AmaZulu marksman shot wide with only the keeper to beat.
The home side packed the midfield and played several balls behind the United defence marshalled by captain Walter Maponyane, but that didn’t yield any positive results as the score remained 2-0 after 70 minutes.
Chiefs had their transition play ready and immediately reacted after denying Shai and Kenneth Makgothi a chance to score and it was Parker who led the attack together with Siphiwe Tshabalala who spotted Majoro on the far side, but his shot was saved by the United FC keeper Bongani Mpandle.
United FC pulled one back from the penalty spot after Tefu Mashamaite was adjudged to have pulled Madolo in the box, and it was none other than Walter Maponyane who beat Khune in the 80th minute.
Chiefs had some nervous moments after conceding that goal as United looked likely to take the game to extra time, but AmaKhosi held onto their lead to ensure their first ever Nedbank Cup final since winning the same competition back in 2006 when it was under different sponsors.
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