Chiefs edge Eagles to seal Nedbank Cup last-16 spot

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Ernst Middendorp, coach of Kaizer Chiefs
  • Post published:February 8, 2020

A wasteful Kaizer Chiefs narrowly edged Royal Eagles in their Nedbank Cup round-of-32 tie at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.

Chiefs came into the game looking to slay last season’s demons and put the final loss against Galaxy in the past.

Ernst Middendorp brought back goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune for the clash, while Khama Billiat and new signing Anthony Akumu were named on the bench.

The home side got off to the better start and almost took the lead with just four minutes gone when midfielder George Maluleka struck a stunning curling effort from just outside the box, but it flew narrowly wide. 

Striker Leonardo Castro was next to come close as he was allowed to turn inside the box, but he also failed to find the target with his low strike with 16 minutes gone. 

Maluleka was in the mood as he again came close with a powerful effort but his shot was tipped over the barb by Eagles shotstopper Edward Maova minutes later.

The second-tier side had a rare chance two minutes before the break as Khune was caught outside his area, but he wasn’t punished with the shot flying over the cross-bar.

The break came with a 0-0 tally and Chiefs still looking for the breakthrough.

Middendorp rang the changes after the break after a lacklustre first half, with Khama Billiat and Bernard Parker replacing Baccus and Castro.

The changes made an immediate impact as Billiat played a beautifully cushioned pass through to Lebogang Manyama but the midfielder could not find the target despite being in acres of space. 

Manyama, though, made up for that earlier miss as he eventually broke the deadlock with 20 minutes to play, getting on the end of Reeve Frosler’s long ball before slotting it past the keeper.

The opener forced Eagles to open up and attack in the final 10 minutes and while they threatened from set plays, they could not find an equaliser and Chiefs booked their spot in the last 16.