Johannesburg - A second half Thabiso Semenya effort booked Platinum Stars' place in
the final of the Telkom Knockout, beating Kaizer Chiefs in the
semi-final at FNB Stadium on Saturday night.
Semenya looked as
surprised as the Amakhosi defence, who made a meal of their clearance in
the 52nd minute, ensuring a meeting with Orlando Pirates in the final,
after the Buccaneers edged SuperSport United earlier in the day.
teams looked bright from the outset, but Chiefs enjoyed the better
chances, as Keegan Ritchie and Bernard Parker both asked questions of
the Stars defence, but neither could find the opener.
side had little difficulty going forward and regularly found space in
front of Stars midfield, and continued to threaten through Parker and
Reneilwe Letsholonyane as the clock approached the half-hour mark.
forced a solid stop from Dikwena goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane 10
minutes from the interval, when an enterprising play from the hosts sent
the playmaker through on goal.
But Letsholonyane drilled his
effort straight at the shot-stopper, who fisted the effort well away,
thwarting the Bafana Bafana midfielder, who will feel that he could have
Five minutes later, Stars had the best chance of
the half when an advancing Luvolwethu Mpeta's dipping effort needed a
superb stop from Chiefs gloveman Itumeleng Khune, who tipped the shot
over the crossbar and out of danger.
Chiefs replied through Parker, who rattled the crossbar from a free-kick just outside the area.
stepped up after Stars brought down a Chiefs player, with the striker
beating the goalkeeper and seemingly sent the hosts ahead, but was
denied by the post shortly before the half-time whistle.
the break, Chiefs were once again through on goal, this time through
George Lebese, but Stars held firm, soaked up the pressure and before
long, took the lead through substitute fullback Semenya - who started
in place of regular skipper Vuyo Mere.
A dangerous corner whipped
into the area was poorly dealt with from Chiefs' defence and Semenya
was able to get a miscued effort away at goal.
Khune failed to
pick up on the loose ball, while Richie could not hack the clearance
away, as the ball trickled into the net to send the Rustenburg outfit
into the last quarter-of-an-hour with the advantage.
on and ran out worthy winners, setting up a repeat of the MTN8 final,
where Stars beat the Sea Robbers to lift the prestigious top eight
trophy earlier this year.