Amakhosi marched onto the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup for the first time since 2007/2008 season with a 1-0 win over Bloem Celtic on Saturday night
Kaizer Chiefs made their intentions very clear in the first 10 minutes and used their full-backs when going forward. They nearly grabbed the opener in the 6th minute, but Bernard Parker’s deflected shot was easily saved by Patrick Tinyemb.
The visitors looked stronger of the two teams with George Lebese, getting his first start since coming back from the injury, making those dangerous runs on the left, but the Celtic’s defence did well to protect their keeper.
Celtic never looked dangerous when pushing forward as they lacked numbers in the final third and lacked the much needed sense of urgency with only Lennox Bacela and Roderick Mutuma upfront.
On 24minutes Celtic’s Joel Mogorosi caught Tsepo Masilela off-guard out on the left and played the ball hard and low into the Chiefs’ box, only for Itumeleng Khune to throw his body on the ball and Bacela’s header from a rebound flew over the bar.
Lebese was wasteful on the far side of the pitch as his crosses couldn’t find his teammates inside the Celtic’s box. Amakhosi pressed hard after the half-hour mark, but it was Celtic who should have taken the lead in the 34th minute through Lennox Bacela, only for Khune to deny the Celtic’s marksman.
Siphiwe Tshabalala had a shot on target towards the end of the first half, but it didn’t have power to trouble Tinyemb, as the score remained 0-0 at the interval.
Celtic started the second half well, as they were clearly looking for an early goal. Their efforts nearly paid off in the 48th minute when Lyle Lakay dispossessed Willard Katsande in the middle of the park and beat Tefu Mashamaite on the left before playing the ball to John Arwuah who forced a brilliant save out of the Chiefs skipper Itumeleng Khune.
Amakhosi then took the lead in the 57th minute with an own goal from Dominic Isaacs who headed past his own keeper from Tshabalala’s corner.
Mutuma should have at least converted one of the opportunities he got, but the Celtic man could not even trouble Khune.
Mogorosi got himself booked in the 70th minute for bringing Parker down outside the Celtic’s box and the Chiefs striker dusted himself to force Tinyemb to a fine save with a curler.
Siyabonga Nkosi had a chance to double Chiefs’ lead towards the end, but his shot went wide as he was under pressure from the Celtic defence.
The home side nearly took the game to extra-time when Ruzaig Gamaldien connected with the cross, but Khune stood firm to ensure his team progresses to the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup for the first time since the 2007/2008 season and kept their dreams of winning a cup and league double alive.