Chiefs claim Gauteng Cup
Sthembiso Ngcobo (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Kaizer Chiefs were crowned champions of the inaugural Gauteng Cup after beating Wits 8-7 on penalties in the final in Atteridgeville on Saturday night.
The scores were level at 0-0 after regulation time and both teams netted seven straight spot kicks, but Derick Spencer missed the eighth shot for the Clever Boys while Sthembiso Ngcobo scored to secure the title for Amakhosi.
The match’s first real chance fell to Chiefs in the 10th minute after some great work on the right by wing by Mandla Masongo who did well to set up Lehlohonolo Majoro.
But the Amakhosi marksman lacked composure as he skewed his effort wide with only goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro to beat.
Wits were quick to respond and they came close in the 14th minute, when Luyolo Mapolisa’s powerful rising shot was parried back into play by Arthur Bartman.
Bernard Parker had a chance to open the scoring for Chiefs after half an hour but his decision to go for a diving header, rather than controlling the ball and firing home, proved fruitless as his effort sailed wide.
Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter made a double substitution as early as the 34th minute, taking out Majoro for Kaizer Motaung Jnr and Reneilwe Letsholonyane for Lucky Baloyi, but their fans were not pleased with the decision.
Two minutes later Baxter pulled out Eric Mathoho for Lincoln Zvasiya and Bernard Parker for Ngcobo, and again the Amakhosi fans whistled in disapproval.
At the beginning of the second half, Wits also made a change, taking off Mapolisa for newly recruited Burundi international Faty Papy, while Chiefs made another substitution, with Abia Nale coming on for George Lebese.
Wits’ counter attacks were cut short by Lucky Baloyi and Willard Katsande in the Amakhosi midfield and the Students resorted to long-range efforts.
Stanton Fredericks unleashed a stinger in the 54th minute but Arthur Bartman was equal to the task.
Ngcobo turned the Wits defence in the 62nd minute and fired on target but his shot was blocked for a corner.
Chiefs were forced to pull out Motaung in the 73rd minute after he suffered what looked like a pulled hamstring and new signing Sakhile Hlongwa was thrown into the fray.
After completing the 2011-12 season on the sidelines due to injury, Wits hitman Ryan Chapman came on as a substitute for Denver Mukhamba in the 77th minute.
The Clever Boys had a chance to bury the match in injury time but again Fredericks rushed his shot and watched in agony as it flew wide of Bartman’s goal.
Amakhosi had eased past Moroka Swallows with a 3-0 victory earlier in the day to book a place in the final of the one-day tournament.
A late Ofentse Nato header sent Wits through to the final as they bagged a 1-0 win over SuperSport United.
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