18.10.2020 05:06 pm
Chiefs come from behind to beat Maritzburg and qualify for MTN8 semifinals
Yagan Sasman is the unlikely hero for Amakhosi with his two goals turning the game on its head after Thabiso Kutumela had given Maritzburg Unted a 1-0 first half lead.
It a start that new Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt will be pleased with.
Although Hunt may have picked up some areas of concern with the way his team played, the spirit they showed in battling back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 will give him hope of success with his new team.
Amakhosi had a sluggish start and the first 20 minutes were a bit lacklustre with both sides unable to get going. Maritzburg were the better of the two and could have possibly scored with the half chances they got. The Blue Hearts got better in their shape as the game progressed and started finding gaps in the Amakhosi defence.
And using a game model they played so well last season, Erick Tinkler’s side caught Chiefs on a counter in the 35th minute with Keagan Buchanan sending Thabiso Kutumela on goal with a brilliant through pass. Coming one-on-one with Itumeleng Khune who was trying to imtimidate him, he showed composure and picked his spot and sliced the ball past the keeper for the game’s opener.
The Blue Hearts came close to getting a second on the 42nd minute, with a move that stated from the back getting to Judas Moseamedi but Khune was quick off his line and blocked the shot. A minute later, Maritzburg were knocking again and Bongokuhle Hlongwane was rather unlucky to see his shot from inside the Amakhosi box recochet off the cross bar with Khune already beaten.
Gavin Hunt must have said something to his team at half time as they came back a little more determined and almost got an equaliser a minute after the restart but Bernard Parker was unlucky to see hit shot hit the post with Bongani Mpandle nowhere near realising what was happening.
The veteran attacker was at it again five minutes later, but his stinging shot from inside the Maritzburg box went over, after a good attacking move by the home side.
While Amakhosi went all out looking for the way back into the game, Maritzburg looked to exploit the spaces left at the back and almost got the second in the 53rd minute but Kutumela took to long to decided what to do with ball, allowing the Chiefs defense to reorganise themselves and deal with the danger.
Lady luck seemed to have turned her back on Amakhosi with second half substitute Njabulo Blom’s brilliantly taken shot in the 67th minute hitting a Maritzburg defender to beat Mpandle but it hit the cross bar and ricochetted out of danger.
Their persistence was finally rewarded in the 73rd when Yagan Sasman got luck to get the ball with his knee and guide it into the net after Maritzburg failed to clear from a corner kick.
And a minute later, Sasman completed his brace when Maritzburg again failed to clear their lines from a corner and he rose highest and sent his header past a sprawled Mpandle.
With just 10 minutes to the end, Leonardo Castro looked to have got the insurance goal for Amakhosi but he was ruled to have been in an offside position, though television replays showed otherwise.