SuperSport knock Chiefs out of Nedbank Cup via shootout
The SuperSport United-Kaizer Chiefs Nedbank quarterfinal lived up to expectation on Saturday night when extra-time and penalties were needed to separate the two PSL teams following a tight affair.
The first half lacked quality as SuperSport, coached by Chiefs' former coach Stuart Baxter, held shape and waited for Chiefs to make mistakes before hitting them on the break. As it happened, neither the visitors nor Steve Komphela's side were able to conjure up clear-cut chances and they went into half-time at 0-0.
The sparse crowd at South Africa's biggest stadium, the 90 000 calabash known as Soccer City, at least witnessed a more lively affair in the second half.
New Zealander Jeremy Brockie opened the scoring for SuperSport in in the 72nd minute with an unstoppable left-footed volley that arrowed into the bottom-left corner of Itumeleng Khune's goal. The 'assist' came from Thabo Mnyamane's outswinging corner-kick.
As it happened, Chiefs were level within five minutes.Their rightback Ramahlwe Mphahlele buried a header at the far post from substitute William Twala's accurate left-wing cross and the score was 1-1.
Through the remaining 15 minutes both teams held each other at arm's length but for Brockie forcing Khune into making a save with his foot from another volley two minutes before time.
While SuperSport ended regular time wondering 'what if?', Chiefs had an even more head-scratching moment during extra-time.
Officious referee Victor Gomes awarded Chiefs a penalty when SuperSport captain Dean Furman was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. However, Bernard Parker's weak spot-kick was saved by Reyaad Pieterse - a former teammate at Chiefs.
When the match then went into penalties, with the score remaining 1-1 after 120 minutes, Pieterse had the decisive moment again. His attempts to get into George Maluleka's head seemed to work as the midfielder struck the upright to record the only miss of the shootout.
As a result, SuperSport advanced to the semifinals with a 5-3 penalty count. They join Chippa United and Lamontville Golden Arrows, who advanced earlier on Saturday, with Orlando Pirates vs. Bloemfontein Celtic rounding out the quarterfinals later on Saturday night.