South-Africa

Chiefs progress into Nedbank Cup quarters

2018-03-10 22:21
Leonardo Castro (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs were made to work for their 2-1 win over Stellenbosch at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night, which booked their place in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals. 

Steve Komphela's side only had one goal to show for their efforts in the first half, partly due to a superb display from Washington Arubi. 

Leonardo Castro eventually added to Erick Mathoho's opener in the second half, although Alan Robertson halved the deficit to set up a tense finish to proceedings in Durban.  

There were no clear-cut chances until the 15th minute, in what was an evenly-contested start to the cup-tie. Leonardo Castro was denied a shooting opportunity on four minutes by a fine tackle from Mbulelo Wambi. 

The first shot in anger came from the visitors on the quarter-mark mark as Wambi blasted an effort over the crossbar from 20 yards out after a cross from the left was cleared into his path. 

Amakhosi began to threaten more as the half wore on and they finally tested Arubi on 27 minutes when Hadebe's header was expertly turned around the left post by the Zimbabwean keeper from a free-kick on the right. 

The Soweto giants broke the deadlock from the resulting corner, however, as Mathoho beat Arubi with a downward header from six yards out. 

Steve Barker's men weren't sitting back, though, and Rayners drew a comfortable save out of Khune on 34 minutes with a long-range strike that took a touch off a defender on its way through to the Bafana Bafana gloveman. 

Rayners was presented with a gilt-edged chance to restore parity four minutes later when Wambi played him through on goal with a neat reverse pass, but the winger skewed his shot well wide of the right post. 

Siphiwe Tshabalala then failed to test Arubi two minutes before half-time after a good passing move saw Willard Katsande pick him out in space inside the box, with the midfielder blasting over from 16 yards out. 

Arubi kept his team in the contest with another good save in stoppage time to tip over Bernard Parker's left-footed shot from 10 yards out having been spotted on the left by Tshabalala. 

The Glamour Boys continued to see plenty of the ball in the second half, but they frustrated the home support with a lack of action in the final third. 

Philani Zulu did well to bring a ball under control at the back post on the hour mark but he volleyed over acrobatically. Joseph Molangoane got the home fans on their feet moments later when Tshabalala released him through on goal with a ball over the top. 

Unfortunately the midfielder could only hit the outside of the right post after taking the ball around an advancing Arubi. 

Castro eased nerves with their second goal on 65 minutes. The Colombian striker latched onto Parker's flicked header from a throw-in on the right and escaped his maker before firing past Arubi at his near post. 

The Winelands outfit hit back just 12 minutes later, though, as Robertson headed beyond Itumeleng Khune from a corner. 

They cranked up the pressure in the closing stages in search of an equaliser, but Chiefs held on to reach the next round.

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