With SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs having previously played out to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their MTN8 semi-final, Bradley Grobler once again proved to be a decisive figure as his second half goal knocked the Soweto giants out of the tournament.
It was all to play for at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening as Chiefs looked to give themselves a crack at silverware for the first time in three years.
Amakhosi were keen to give their fans something to smile about and after considering Chiefs’ poor league form, coach Giovanni Solinas made several changes to the side which drew with Bloemfontein Celtic in midweek.
New signing Godfrey Walusimbi was thrust straight into the starting XI as he took his place alongside Teenage Hadebe, who also returned to the line-up.
Meanwhile, SuperSport were the tournament’s defending champions and they too made changes with James Keene making way for Grobler upfront in a move that proved vital.
While the opening exchanges of the clash were tightly fought, SuperSport came closest to opening the scoring early on.
Clayton Daniels capitalised on sleepy defending from a set-piece, but his effort would cannon of the woodwork, to the relief of Khune and his teammates.
Matsatsantsa were looking dangerous and Grobler in particular, was showing just why he was the man of the match in the first leg as he proved a constant danger.
The Tshwane side were certainly enjoying the better of the chances and once again they had a glorious chance to open the scoring before the half hour mark.
This season’s club top scorer Evans Rusike found space in the box after a set piece was not cleared effectively, but his effort lacked the desired connection to trouble Itumeleng Khune.
Chiefs were certainly outplayed in the middle of the park in the first half with Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro struggling to cause much danger upfront due to Chiefs’ lack of urgency.
This saw them fail to test Ronwen Williams in the first half as all the action was mostly concentrated in the home side’s half. That was until the 45th minute when Chiefs had their first real chance on goal.
Following an impressive counter attack started by Katsande, the Zimbabwean then found himself on the receiving end of a pass played into his path just before the half-time whistle. His effort though, was steered just wide of target as both sides headed into the interval deadlocked.
Nonetheless, the second half saw Chiefs start brightly. SuperSport knew they needed to be wary as 40 percent of Chiefs goals came in minutes 45-60 and they were kept under the cosh especially from set pieces.
Chiefs defender Hadebe, nearly capitalised on some poor defending as the ball fell into his path on the edge of the box, but a superb block by the SuperSport defence did enough to avert any danger.
However, it was at the other end, where the net would be bulging just before the hour mark.
A loose pass was capitalised on inside the Chiefs half and eventually saw former Chiefs star Reneilwe Letsholonyane set up Grobler, who showed great composure to fend off the defender and fired his shot past Khune.
The goal silenced the home crowd, but Chiefs were undeterred and pressed in search of an equaliser.
Minutes later, SuperSport would owe pay a load of gratitude to Williams who produced an extraordinary double save to keep his side ahead.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele’s initial effort was superbly saved from close range, before Williams scrambled down to his left to keep out Katsande’s effort.
With 20 minutes remaining both sides opted to make changes to personnel in order to inject something more into their game plan.
Meanwhile, Chiefs continued to throw everything at SuperSport and Siphelele Ntshangase came close to finding the net, only for his piledriver skimmed wide.
But with Castro forced off with an injury as the game headed into stoppage, Chiefs were unable to find a way back and missed out on yet another final.