Soccer

Chiefs meet Man City in final

2009-07-23 23:21
Chiefs celebrate (Gallo)

Port Elizabeth - Kaizer Chiefs edged out arch rivals Orlando Pirates 4-3 in a penalty shootout, after the teams were drawn 1-1 apiece after full time.

The victory ensures that the Amakhosi will play Manchester City in the final of the Vodacom Challenge at Loftus on Saturday at 3pm.

It was one of the most dramatic penalty shootouts between the two Soweto giants and had the 30 000 crowd on the edge of their seats.

Both goalkeepers Moeneeb Josephs and Itumeleng Khune did their best to psyche their opponents in the shootout. Bucs paid the penalty by missing three and having one saved. Chiefs missed two and had one penalty saved. The winning penalty was scored by Rooi Thabang.

Despite changing over 1-1 at the interval, Amakhosi had the better of the first half.

Chiefs took the initiative from the opening whistle and were rewarded when Josta Dladla made it 1-0 after 10 minutes when he latched onto Abia Nale's defence splitting though ball and fired his shot into the far corner giving keeper Josephs no chance.

Josephs kept the Buccaneers in the game with two breathtaking saves from a rocket from Knowledge Musona and a powerful Mandla Masango strike in the 13th and 20th minutes respectively.

Josephs did well on both occasions as Chiefs threatened to overrun the shell shocked Bucs. Then Pirates captain Lehlohonolo Seema was wide awake to head away cross from Musona as Lawrence Molekwane rose to head home the cross from close range on 29 minutes.

But from the breakaway Chiefs were caught flat footed and live wire Dikgang Mabalane found Malawian international midfielder Josephy Kamwendo who beat keeper Itumeleng Khune with a sweet shot to make it 1-1 against the run of play.

Josephs did well to deny hard working Masango a goal on the stroke of halftime with another fine save.

Amakhosi started well at the start of the second half but it was Bucs newcomer Andile Jali who forced Khune to make a smart save in the 55th minutes as Bucs hit Chiefs on the counter attack.

Both coaches made a number of changes to try and find the winner but the second half was a lot closer fought that the first 45 minutes with Bucs putting Chiefs under pressure and enjoying more possession.

Chiefs seemed to lose the drive and rhythm they had in the first period. Josephs was a virtual spectator in the second half.

The one surprise on the Chiefs team sheet was the absence of striker Kaizer Motaung junior who was booed by the fans in Durban on Tuesday night where Amakhosi were beaten 1-0 by City.

Motaung junior was not even among the substitutes name by coach Vladimir Vermezovic. But the Serbian coach said he would be rotating his players.

With neither side taking any risks it was no surprise when the match went to the dreaded penalty shootout.

It was chaotic outside the stadium before the match and the unhelpful traffic officials turned a bad sitiation into a circus.

One can understand why the 2010 Local Organising Committee and FIFA were reluctant to use this venue for last month's Confederations Cup.

FIFA and the LOC are going to have to come to the Windy City and show the locals how it is done with major soccer matches otherwise PE should forget about hosting any World Cup matches in 2010.

But the new stadium itself is fantastic and inside it is world class. However, the pitch gets a black mark as it was bumpy and below FIFA standards.

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