Rustenburg - Kaizer Chiefs midfielder George Maluleka's brace secured a 2-0 victory over
Platinum Stars in the MTN8 semi-final, first leg, at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium
The first goal came in the 51st minute after Maluleka latched onto a loose
ball in the penalty box, and his second was a pinpoint free kick in the 90th
minute to put the game to rest.
Amakhosi entered the cup clash on the back of a four goal mauling of
Mpumalanga Black Aces in the first round of the MTN8 to qualify for the semi-final
a fortnight ago.
Stars overcame defending Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 away
from home to set up the encounter.
Maluleka, who has come into his own since joining the club eight months ago,
displayed his growing armoury as an attacking threat.
The Tembisa-born ace was the first to get sight of goal but his header in
the 12th minute from a corner kick glanced over the crossbar.
Maluleka was gifted another chance with the Stars defence carved open but
his side-footed shot was waywardly miscued.
The first clear goal-scoring opportunity for Stars fell to winger Tintswalo
Tshabalala, whose glancing header forced a brilliant save out of Chiefs
goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune in the 16th minute.
Stars striker Ndumiso Mabena proved to be a menacing figure for the Chiefs
defence, with his industrious style of play.
Amakhosi appeared to be lacking in synergy in central defence, with Eric
Mathoho and Tefu Mashamaite struggling to contain the opposition attacking
In the 21st minute Mabena broke free from Mathoho, but blasted his shot
agonisingly over the target.
In-form Chiefs midfielder Mandla Masango looked to continue his impressive
run of performances on the half-hour mark but his shot at goal on the flank
sailed into the rafters.
George Lebese kept Stars defender Tshepo Gumede on his toes with his
dribbling wizardry, and in the 55th minute created an opening for Masango who
found himself in some space.
However, Masango was beaten to the ball by Stars captain Vuyo Mere who made
an excellent clearing tackle.
Mabena, who had given Chiefs problems in the first half, took a knock to the
head just before the interval.
In the second half, the patched-up striker was not as effective as the
injury clearly played a factor in his form.
Stars midfielder Solomon Mathe squared-off against Chiefs midfield cog
Reneilwe Letsholonyane where much of the action took place in the match.
The tough tackling Mathe took no prisoners in the centre of the field and
he, in the end, was fortunate not to get red-carded after two miss-timed
tackles on Maluleka and Letsholonyane.