SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs played out to an entertaining 2-2 draw in their MTN8 semi-final first leg at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The defending MTN8 champions SuperSport went into the game having had the upper hand over Chiefs in recent encounters. Matsatsantsa beat the Glamour Boys once in the league last season, while drawing the other. SuperSport also knocked out Chiefs with a 1-0 win in the quarter-finals on their way to lifting last season’s MTN8 trophy.
The two teams also came into the encounter in contrasting form.
Kaitano Tembo’s men have impressed in the league by beating Bidvest Wits and AmaZulu, while Chiefs are yet to pick up a league win under new coach Giovanni Solinas, drawing three and losing one game so far.
In the last round of the MTN8, SuperSport edged out Orlando Pirates on penalties, while Chiefs easily dispatched Free State Stars with a routine 3-0 victory.
After a tentative opening 15 minutes, the game burst into life when Amakhosi took the lead. A delightful ball out wide by Siphelele Ntshangase found the run of Dumisani Zuma, the midfielder took a touch and squared the ball across goal where Khama Billiat was waiting at the back post to tap home, Chiefs 1-0 up with 19 minutes played.
It did not take Tembo’s team long to hit back.
Moments after spurning a great chance to find the equaliser, Bradley Grobler levelled the scores with an expertly taken goal. The ball was fired into the striker, who controlled the ball with a wonderful touch, turning his defender in the process, before unleashing a venomous strike into the bottom corner, 1-1 with 23 minutes played in Atteridgeville.
Dean Furman then came close to giving the home side the lead but his shot from range thundered against the crossbar with Itumeleng Khune well beaten.
SuperSport, however, did take the lead six minutes before the break. A long throw into the box was flicked on to find Grobler at the back post. The ball bounced at the striker’s feet and he made no mistake in rifling his shot past Khune from inside the six-yard box.
The defending champions led 2-1 at the break, but Chiefs were still firmly in the encounter.
Within seconds of the restart, Chiefs were level. Leonardo Castro was slipped through on goal, he may have had a tight angle, but the striker managed to beat Ronwen Williams brilliantly in the SuperSport goal with a stunning shot with the outside of his boot.
Chiefs were playing some free-flowing football and almost took the lead when Castro drove the ball across the face of goal. Billiat was sliding in but could not make any contact.
Matsatsantsa then had their own spell of pressure, threatening from set plays in particular. During this period, both Grobler and substitute James Keene had openings but could not find a way past Khune.
Despite both teams not sitting back, neither could find the all-important winner. Honours are even between SuperSport and Chiefs as they head into next week’s semi-final second leg at the FNB Stadium with all to play for.
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Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
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