Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs' four-year major trophy drought continued after they suffered a 2-1 Telkom Knockout (TKO) semi-final defeat to Maritzburg United on Sunday afternoon.
Ernst Middendorp's charges were itching to meet arch-rivals Mamelodi Sundowns in the final after the Brazilians secured their passage after brushing aside Golden Arrows.
However, it was not to be as Eric Tinkler's side bossed the encounter at the Mbombela Stadium as United eased past the Soweto giants.
Judas Moseamedi took full advantage of Daniel Cordoso's lack of urgency in his defensive role in the 30th minute as he latched onto the ball and guided it into the back of the net.
Yagan Sasman levelled matters in the 77th minute, but six minutes later Moseamedi tapped in from close range to earn United a valuable win.
Amakhosi are desperate for silverware as the Glamour Boys last won a major title - the Absa Premiership - in the 2014/15 season under the guidance of Stuart Baxter.
The TKO would have been perfect "starters" for Amakhosi as they eye the "main" prize - the Absa Premiership title. They currently hold a 10-point lead in the standings - 28 points from 11 matches (9 wins, 1 defeat and 1 draw), while defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns are in second place (18 points) with a match in hand.
The Team of Choice troubled Chiefs throughout the 90 minutes as their 17 shots at goal (10 on target) kept Middendorp's charges on their toes.
Chiefs, despite enjoying more than half the possession, were well below par as they only recorded 11 shots at goal with five strikes on target.
With three matches left before the end of the year, and teams heading into a short festive season break, Chiefs may want to collect all nine points on offer.
On Wednesday, November 27 Amakhosi face a plucky Stellenbosch FC who recently beat Orlando Pirates at the Cape Town Stadium.
A win for the Cape side could see them move further away from the relegation zone from their current 14th place (out of 16).
Ten days later - Saturday, December 7 - Middendorp's side take on Bloemfontein Celtic, who have had a roller coaster season.
Phunya Sele Sele will be eager to maintain their position in the top half of the log and will test the Glamour Boys' desire of wanting to keep the rest of the league chasing their tails.
A nice break (15 days) awaits Chiefs before their final clash of 2019 which could work in their favour.
In that match, Chiefs meet Maritzburg again, this time at the Harry Gwala Stadium, on Sunday, December 22.
That clash will serve as redemption for Middendorp's men after their TKO semi-final defeat.
The fixture will come a week after the TKO final where Maritzburg take on tournament favourites Mamelodi Sundowns.
Amakhosi will have a good chance of picking up the win against United as fresh legs could well come in handy.
As the season nears its halfway mark, Amakhosi could either fall from grace or remain steadfast in their desired trophy pursuit.