A late error in extra time from Santos goalkeeper Tshepo Motsoeneng gifted Kaizer Chiefs a 1-0 win in their Telkom Knockout semifinal at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday night.
Knowledge Musona continued his impressive scoring form by netting the only goal of the game in the 116th minute, seeing the Amakhosi through to the final and keeping alive their hopes of defending the competition which they won last season.
Chiefs bossed the game throughout the first half, dominating possession and spending most of their time in the Santos half of the field. Yet they created almost no clear scoring opportunities, mainly due to the Cape side’s disciplined and well-organised defensive unit.
The closest the Amakhosi came to breaking the deadlock in the first half was a near own goal from Wayne Arendse in the ninth minute. The centre-back directed a low Knowledge Musona cross toward his own net but goalkeeper Tshepo Motsoeneng made a fine reaction save at his near post.
Santos, for their part, offered little in the way of attacking threat, with a low Sekou Camara shot that was easily saved by Itumeleng Khune accounting for their best effort in the first 45 minutes.
However, in the second half, Santos’ attack looked a different prospect and in the 55th minute Gregory Roelf’s cross from the left was almost sliced into his own net by Thomas Sweswe – Khune made a great save to spare the Zimbabwean defender’s blushes.
Ten minutes later Salmaan King slipped a clever pass behind Chiefs’ defence to put Camara through on goal but Valery Nahayo did just enough to make sure the Malian had to shoot from a difficult angle and his effort lacked the power to trouble Khune.
On 83 minutes Motsoeneng was called into significant action for virtually the first time in the second half, moving quickly off his line to ensure substitute Abia Nale was unable to get onto Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s fine through ball.
Four minutes later Musona missed the best chance of the game, somehow shooting wide from close range when Siphiwe Tshabalala’s peach of a cross from the left had gifted him a clear sight of Santos’ goal.
With the score locked at 0-0 at the end of regulation time, the match went to an extra 30 minutes in an attempt to separate the teams.
Eleven minutes into extra time Chiefs came within inches of breaking the deadlock, with Nale seeing his shot run agonisingly wide of the target after bursting through the Santos backline.
The match seemed destined for penalties until four minutes before the end when Musona finally found the back of the net. Siphiwe Tshabalala swung in a cross from the left, Motsoeneng inexplicably fumbled his attempted interception and Musona gratefully stabbed the ball into an unguarded net.-Backpagepix