Kaizer Chiefs failed to book a spot in the Telkom Knockout final against Mamelodi Sundowns after suffering a 2-1 loss against Maritzburg United in the semi-finals at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Chiefs came into the game full of confidence after the exploits pre the international break and were looking to book a spot in the final as they aim to end their four-year trophy less spell.
Maritzburg though have shown continual improvements under Eric Tinkler this year and were looking to spoil the party at the Mbombela stadium.
Amakhosi manager Ernst Middendorp was forced to make four changes to his team as goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma, Njabulo Blom, Kearyn Baccus and Bernard Parker all were brought in for Khama Billiat, Daniel Akpeyi, Erick Mathoho and Willard Katsande.
The game started at a frenetic pace with both teams looking to push forward for the opener and The Team of Choice were the first to go close as Kunene drove past the Chiefs backline but his effort was well saved by Bvuma in the Chiefs goal with 21 minutes gone.
It didn’t take Tinkler’s men much longer to break the deadlock though as with 30 minutes gone Judas Moseamedi capitalised on a poor back pass from Daniel Cardoso before firing past Bvuma.
The Soweto giants went in search for a fast response and came close six minutes before the break as Parker was picked out in the box, but he couldn’t find the target with his glancing header.
Middendorp tweaked things tactically at the break, but it was Maritzburg who threatened in the early stages when Daylon Classens hit the upright after being slipped in by Kunene.
The Glamour Boys were struggling to break down their well organised opponents in open play but managed to strike back in the 78th minute from a set piece. Lebogang Manyama whipped in a cross which was met by Samir Nurkovic, his header was well saved by Richard Ofori but the ball fell in the patch of Yagan Sasman who had a simple tap in to level the scores.
With extra time looming both teams looked to push forward in the search of the winner and with six minutes to go Maritzburg netted their late winner. Bandile Shandu was released down the right flank and whipped in an inch perfect cross which was met by Moseamedi who smashed home his volley.
The Soweto giants then threw everything forward in search of an equaliser but it was not forthcoming as the league leaders were sent packing.
You may also like