Chiefs win 3-1 in penalty shoot-out

Kaizer Chiefs tempted fate and won a blood-and-thunder, error-infested Telkom Knockout game against Moroka Swallows by a 3-1 penalty shoot-out margin after the teams had finished level 2-2 after extra-time at Loftus on Saturday night.

Playing precise, methodical soccer in the opening 45 minutes, Chiefs opened the score two minutes into injury-time of the opening half through Shaun Bartlett, who had earlier missed three gilt-edged opportunities of scoring.

In truth, the Amakhosi should have had their place in the quarterfinals signed and sealed in the opening period against an amateurish, out-of-touch Swallows, who only found a semblance of form at the death.

Swallows belatedly made the score 1-1 through an unexpected, close-range equaliser by Sandile Ndlovu in the 93rd minute, barely seconds before the completion of optional time.

Then, after Kaizer Motaung jnr regained the lead for Chiefs in the 105th minute and had a second goal controversially disallowed five minutes later, it was the Birds who pulled a goal out of the bag in the 107th minute with a delicate lobbed shot into the roof of the net.

It was Chiefs who missed the first kick in the shoot-out through Motaung, with indications at that moment that Amakhosi had tempted fate once too often.

But Swallows’s ineptitude did not desert them and only Bevan Fransman was able to score from four ill-judged penalty kicks.

Swallows lost the services of accomplished Nigerian international goalkeeper Greg Etafia after only five minutes when he made a fearless, point-blank save from Motaung and was forced to leave the field with a suspected broken wrist.

Ironically, it was Etafia’s youthful replacement, Aubrey Mathibe, who was the only Swallows player to emerge from the game with an enhanced reputation, making a succession of top-class saves during the 120 minutes—and then again demonstrating his ability with two further saves in the shoot-out.

Itumeleng Khune in Chiefs’ goal also performed with credit with two saves in the shoot-out, but he was fortunate not to be blown up when he left his line and was almost halfway up to the penalty spot to save Ndlovu’s kick in kamikaze style. - Sapa

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