The Team of Choice beat Amakhosi 2-1 at a packed Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon to prolong Chiefs’ trophy drought.
Chiefs’ rivals Mamelodi Sundowns edged closer to clinching a cup title when they edged Golden Arrows 2-1 at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Sunday.
Phakaaathi takes a look at the five talking points of the Telkom Knockout semifinals:
Chiefs lack depth
Kaizer Chiefs’ lack of depth was laid bare by Maritzburg United on Sunday. With Chiefs missing Eric Mathoho, Willard Katsande, Daniel Akpeyi and Khama Billiat because of suspensions and injury, coach Ernst Middendorp was forced to make changes to the starting line-up for the clash against Maritzburg. As a result of these changes, Chiefs looked out of sorts, especially in defence and in the midfield, and Maritzburg took full advantage of that.
Baccus not ready for the match
With Katsande out because of suspension, Middendorp decided to rush Kearyn Baccus, who had just recovered from an injury, into the starting line-up and that decision backfired badly. Baccus struggled with the pace of the game and was replaced at half-time.
Jali returns to form
Having struggled for form at the beginning of the season, Andile Jali seems to have found the form that made him a household name in South Africa, especially during his days at Orlando Pirates. “Gattuso”, as Jali is fondly known in SA football circles, broke up Golden Arrows’ play and helped his team in attack. He deservedly won the Man-of-the-Match award in the end.
Sirino’s short temper not good for Sundowns
Gaston Sirino turned from hero to villain in Sundowns’ 2-1 win over Golden Arrows on Saturday. Having doubled Sundowns’ lead in the 36th minute, the Uruguayan attacker put his team under tremendous pressure in the dying minutes of the match when he got red-carded for his late challenge on captain Matome Mathiane. Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane conceded afterwards that Sirino did deserve the red.
Maritzburg in it to win it
Maritzburg United showed this past weekend that they are not in the Telkom Knockout to make up title. The Team of Choice dominated Chiefs at home and could have scored more than the two goals they scored to win the encounter. They face Sundowns in the final and, from what transpired over the weekend, the Team of Choice could well surprise many and win the Telkom Knockout.