Kaizer Chiefs beat a 10-man Orlando Pirates side 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw to advance to the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout Cup at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Pirates came into the game looking to leave behind their recent indifferent form with a big win over their fiercest rivals to book a spot in the semis.
Chiefs, on the other hand, were looking to continue their fine early-season form and finally get a victory over the other half of Soweto for the first time since 2014.
It was a tight and tense opening to the game as both sides looked to feel each other out.
Chiefs were the first to threaten and thought they had opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Samir Nurkovic got on the end of a Khama Billiat cross before heading past Wayne Sandilands, but the official had his flag raised for offsides although it looked very tight.
The game was beginning to heat up as Thembinkosi Lorch and Billiat clashed near the halfway line, with the Bucs man appearing to have stamped on the Zimbabwean and was fortunate not to receive his marching orders 30 minutes in.
Then moments later the Buccaneers punished their opponents for losing their heads as Lorch unselfishly set up Fortune Makaringe for an easy finish to give his side the lead with 35 minutes gone.
Rhulani Mokwena’s charges were then incensed in first-half stoppage time as they pleaded for a penalty after Daniel Akpeyi gave the ball away to Kabelo Dlamini before bringing the forward down as he ran at goal. The referee, however, did not point to the spot.
It was 1-0 to the Sea Robbers at the break, with all to play for in the second half.
It got off to the worst possible start for Pirates as Nthokozisi Dube received his marching orders for a second bookable offence with just six minutes played.
Three minutes later and Chiefs had a serious shout for a penalty as Dumisani Zuma was taken out by Ntsikelelo Nyauza. The referee, though, waved the appeals away and then just two minutes later refusing to award a penalty at the other end when Sasman floored Pule inside the area.
Amakhosi then finally got their goal in the 62nd minute when Billiat ghosted into the box before hitting the upright, but Castro was on hand to bury the rebound and bring his team level.
Pirates were then pegged back as Chiefs piled on the pressure, but Middendorp’s men were struggling to find the killer pass. Pirates had a couple of chances of their own but they also couldn’t find the knockout blow and the game went into extra time.
There was more drama to come just two minutes in the first half of extra time. Chiefs finally got a penalty as Abel Mabaso blocked a shot with his right arm, giving the referee an easy decision. Daniel Cardoso stepped up and buried the penalty to fire his side back into the lead.
Pirates, though, were not going to lie down and hit back six minutes later when Lorch went on a mazy run down the left flank before slipping in Gabadinho Mhango, who kept his composure and slipped his effort past Akpeyi just a minute after coming on.
The pace of the game began to drop off in the second half as the sapping Durban heat looked to be taking it out of the players.
With both sides failing to find a further way to goal, the game would be separated by penalties.
Akpeyi then proved to be the hero as he saved Ben Motshwari and Mabaso’s penalty kicks as Chiefs progressed 4-2 on penalties.
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