Kaizer Chiefs are through to the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup after a 2-0 win over NFD side Polokwane City at the Moses Mabhida Stadium
Kaizer Chiefs started the match with their fringe players including Mandla Masango and Kaizer Motaung Jnr.
However, Amakhosi never really missed their regular players and took the game to their opponents.
Polokwane City didn’t sit back and looked to use Esau Kanyenda’s pace upfront. The NFD side then won their first corner of the match inside the first 10 minutes, and Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune had to stretch and punch the resultant corner to safety.
The visitors then created some spaces in the midfield and caught Chiefs defence off guard. Kagiso Mashishi unleashed a rocket from outside the box in the 14th minute, but Khune produced a brilliant save to deny City what would be their dream start.
Polokwane City was often caught by the speed of the play, and Chiefs proved superior to their opponents, and the visitors started taking long range shot as they couldn’t really penetrate the Chiefs defence. Amakhosi deservedly took the lead in the 32nd minute through the boot of Sthembiso Ngcobo who superbly finished with a low shot from Siyabonga Nkosi’s pass.
Amakhosi failed on a number of occasions to close down Polokwane City and gave them a freedom outside the box. The visitors tried to beat Khune with long range shots, but the Bafana number one easily dealt with them.
Chiefs should have doubled their lead on the stroke of half time, when City’s keeper Nkueni Mayala fumbled Siphiwe Tshabalala’s cross but Polokwane City recovered well to concede a corner. The scoreline remained 1-0 to Amakhosi after the first 45 minutes.
Polokwane City looked to start well in the second half and immediately introduced former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Koketso Mmotong, as they looked for an early equalizer against Chiefs.
Chiefs defence nearly paid a price for their loss of concentration in the 52nd when Eric Mathoho played the ball to Kanyenda on the edge of the box, and the former Jomo Cosmos striker’s shot was deflected and easily picked up by Khune.
Ngcobo outpaced the visitors’ defence a minute later and beat Nkueni Mayala with a poorly taken shot, but Polokwane defence recovered in time to concede a corner. Amakhosi kept losing possession in the middle of the park as Polokwane City pressed forward more often.
Stuart Baxter then introduced Bernard Parker for Sthembiso Ngcobo with 25 minutes to go, as he looked to kill them game. The Soweto giants started holding possession confidently and doubled the lead in the 76th minute through substitute Kingston Nkhatha who finished brilliantly from Parker’s six yard cross.
Tshabalala utilized the space on the left wing and whipped in a cross to Masango who failed to control the ball with only the keeper to beat. Polokwane City had their penalty appeal turned down when Kanyenda fell inside the box in the 84th minute, but the referee wasn’t interested.
Kanyenda made an attempt a minute later but his bicycle kick narrowly missed the target, as Chiefs held onto their 2-0 lead. Masango found himself one on one with Nkueni but the Polokwane keeper did well to keep the score respectable, as Chiefs won 2-0 and made it to the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup.