KAIZER Chiefs progressed to the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup when they defeated FC Buffalo 2-1 at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday night.
Amakhosi opened the scoring through Ivan Bukenya but an own-goal from Simphiwe Mtsweni restored parity before Mandla Masango scored the winner midway through the second half.
Chiefs dominated the aerial duels from the start but Bukenya glanced his header wide from a corner in the 9th minute, while Katlego Mphela nodded over the bar from Siyabonga Nkosi’s cross in the 16th minute.
FC Buffalo goalkeeper Thando Mthimkhulu was then called into action twice, diving low to his right to parry an effort from Nkosi in the 21st minute, before holding on to a headed effort from Erick Mathoho a minute later.
The visitors had a rare opportunity in the 25th minute when Themba Maloyi broke through on the left side of the box, but his solid strike was kept out by Brilliant Khuzwayo.
Amakhosi came close to breaking the deadlock from another corner in the 29th minute but Mathoho saw his header blocked before Mandla Masango’s follow-up effort was cleared off the line by a defender.
Stuart Baxter’s side did eventually get it right a minute later when Bukenya made a run towards the near post to head home, connecting with another inswinging corner from Masango.
However, FC Buffalo levelled matters under fortuitous circumstances on the stroke of halftime when Mtsweni sidefooted the ball into his own net while trying to clear a cross Mhlengi Sigwebela.
Both sides had great chances to take the lead early in the second half but Mathoho sent his looping header just over the crossbar in the 47th minute, while Myron Naicker directed his diving header just wide at the other end two minutes later.
Chiefs were then denied by the woodwork on two occasions as Nkosi’s long range effort was deflected onto the post in the 55th minute, while Mathoho headed against the upright two minutes later.
The home side eventually restored their lead in the 69th minute when George Lebese used his skill to skip past his marker on the left side of the box before clipping the ball across for Masango to head into the back of the net.
The pressure eventually paid off in the 69th minute when Masango finished with a diving header from the centre of the box following some good work from George Lebese on the left.
Mathoho continued to cause problems for the visitors in the air and in the 83rd minute he was picked out by a corner from Lebese, only to see his header cleared off the line by Mduduzi Dlamini.
FC Buffalo had one last chance to grab the equaliser in the 88th minute when Mduduzi Mabaso was released by a brilliant diagonal pass on the right side of the box, but his shot came of the upright as Chiefs held on for the 2-1 win.
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Bukenya 30’, Masango 69’)
FC Buffalo (1) 1 (Mtsweni o.g. 45’)
Kaizer Chiefs: Khuzwayo, Gordinho (Gaxa 64’), Mathoho, Bukenya, Mtsweni, Baloyi, Maluleka, Lebese, Masango (Rusike 86’), Nkosi (Parker 64’)
FC Buffalo: Mthimkhulu, Maloyi (Smith 71’), Mgedezi (Kukama 62’), Phehelo, Sigwebela (Rautini 83’), Dlamini, Hoffman, Madimabe, November, Mabaso, Taliwe.
In another last 16 match of the Nedbank Cup SuperSport United beat Moroka Swallows 1-0 at the Dovsonville Stadium to progress to the last 8 of the competition. The draw for the quarter-finals of the competition will be held tomorrow at the Carleton Centre in Jozi.-Backpage TXT