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Date: 25 September 2017

  South African - Soccer

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Chiefs through to MTN final

[Posted 28 Aug 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
The General Nengomasha was at his best as he guided Chiefs to qualify for MTN final against Ajax

Kaizer Chiefs produced one of their most polished performances to deny Ajax Cape Town's talented youngsters a chance to qualify for the MTN Super8 final, after achieving a scoring 1-1 draw at the packed Cape Town Stadium last night.

With the first leg having ended 0-0 away at the FNB Stadium last weekend, Ajax needed nothing short of an outright victory to qualify for the finals, while a scoring draw would see Chiefs through on away goal's rule.

And Amakhosi did just that.

Chiefs had a strategy which worked better for them, and that strategy was to mark Ajax's key man, attacking midfielder Khama Billiat. The Zimbabwean was frustrated by another Zimbabwean, Zhaimu "Jimmy" Jambo.

With the help of Chiefs' midfield general, Tinashe Nengomasha, himself Billiat's Zimbabwe Warriors team mate, Jambo ensured that the Ajax magician was kept under lock and key, and with a little bit of illegal kicking, Billiat was neutralised, to the surprise of many.

During the first leg, Billiat tormented the Chiefs defence, terrorising Keegan Ritchie at will, and Vladimir Vermozovic, who is fast proving to be a master strategist, had to come up with something.

Maarten Steeklenberg's strategy was for Billiat to play on the touchline, lure Chiefs defence to the touchline, and use the dribbling wizard's skill and pace to open up the defence and create chances for Terror Fanteni.

That strategy completely backfired, as VV appearrd to have anticipated it well, and his counter strategy was to ensure that there are two or three players around Billiat after he takes on one Chiefs player.

And with the quality that VV has at his disposal, the tough and experienced Nengomasha and Thomas Sweswe back in defence, the Ajax coach was outwitted from the bench.

After the initial ten minutes, Chiefs dominated Ajax up to the 30th minute, and even midfielders like Nengomasha could take a shot at goal like his thunderous 30metre drive which was saved by Sean Roberts.

The teams were tied at 0-0 at break time.

The first goal of the match came in the 65th minute after some lovely build up involving Jambo and Parker, and the latter swung in a teasing cross. While the SAjax defence was ball watching, Josta Dladla ghosted from nowhere to poke the header past Roberts.

It was such a cruel blow to Ajax who appeared to have been fully back into the game. Ajax showed real  Warriors'spirit and on 75 minutes, Manyama squared a beautiful pass for Terror in the box, and what a finish from Fanteni to tie the scores 1-1!

Thereafter Ajax new that they needed nothing short of a second goal without. Billiat apapeared to be coming back to life, and he made a dashing entry into the box only to shoot tamely at Itumeleng Khne in the 85th minute.

With Ajax thoriwing everything at them, Amakhosi stood form at the back, and Fanteni and company continued to miss what at times appeared like gilt-edged chances.

On the 90th minute, from another Ajax charge into the Chiefs goal area, Nengomasha appeared to have fouled Nhlanhla Vilakazi, but the referee surprisingly did not see it.

Chiefs were to hold on and qualify 1-1 on aggregate, with an away goal's rule coming to their aid. They will have to wait for the identity of their opponents in the final after the 2nd leg tie between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in Pretoria on Sunday.

Pirates lead 3-2 from the first leg played at the Orlando Stadium last Saturday.

 

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