Kaizer Chiefs are out of the Caf Confederation Cup. A 2-1 defeat in the second leg qualifier against Zesco United at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night saw the Soweto giants handed a 5-2 aggregate humbling.
Chiefs came into the game facing an uphill battle after the 3-1 defeat in Zambia last weekend. In addition to needing to overturn the two-goal deficit, the Amakhosi were also playing their fifth game within the space of two weeks as they contend with a congested fixture schedule.
Zeso, on the other hand, are in their off-season and therefore have played only the five Caf qualifiers since winning their league in October 2018. They also enjoyed a two-goal buffer and would have been aiming to keep Chiefs out at the FNB Stadium.
The home side got off to the worst possible start, as the Zambian team opened the scoring with just 10 minutes played. Jesse Were was too strong for Hendrick Ekstein as he muscled the midfielder off the ball before blasting the ball past Virgil Vries and into the bottom corner from 20 yards out.
The early goal clearly had an effect on Chiefs, who now needed to score three just to force extra time.
The Zambians kept their discipline and shape as Chiefs began to knock the ball around, but Ernst Middendorp’s men were not penetrating enough to cause Zesco any problems.
Chiefs finally had their first sighter after 32 minutes as Leonardo Castro met a cross into the box. The Colombian, however, failed to hit the target from close range.
Zesco were proving difficult to break down as Chiefs went into the break 1-0 down, trailing 4-1 on aggregate, and with a mountain to climb if they wanted to book a spot in the group stages.
Chiefs came close to pulling one back in the 62nd minute when Bernard Parker was played in down the left flank before he whipped a ball into the box, but both Khama Billiat and Kabelo Mahlasela failed to provide a decisive touch, with the goal gaping.
Eight minutes later and Zesco put the final nail in the Chiefs coffin. Willard Katsande failed to deal with a long ball over the top, losing the ball to the attacker before the ball fell to Were, who made no mistake in slotting past Vries.
Chiefs finally got on the scoresheet as Billiat got on the end of Siphelele Ntshangase pass to score a consolation goal in injury time.
Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
You may also like