Chiefs cruise into MTN8 semis

Kaizer Chiefs put their slow start to the league season behind them as they defeated Free State Stars 3-0 at FNB Stadium in a MTN8 quarterfinal on Saturday evening.

The Amakhosi were much-improved compared to their 3-1 loss to Bidvest Wits in midweek, as goals from Dumisani Zuma, Leonardo Castro and Khama Billiat secured a place in the semifinals at Ea Lla Koto’s expense.

The victory also served as sweet revenge for the Soweto side, who suffered a famous defeat at the hands of Stars in the Nedbank Cup last season.

The first clear chance of the match went the way of Chiefs’ Daniel Cardoso, who virtually had an open goal to aim for after Stars goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare had fluffed a punch from a free kick, but the defender skewed a left-footed attempt well wide in the 18th minute.

Yet Cardoso’s blushes were spared just two minutes later when the Amakhosi put together a great passing movement which ended with Dumisani Zuma sweeping home Joseph Molangoane’s pull-back to put the hosts 1-0 up.

On 27 minutes Chiefs almost doubled their advantage, with Willard Katsande’s powerful run giving Molangoane a clear chance to score, but his goal-bound effort was tipped away by Sangare.

Stars only threatened Chiefs’ goal once in the first half, with Harris Tchilimbou teeing up Yusuf Jappie to shoot from the edge of the box, but his effort was easily smothered by goalkeeper Virgil Vries on 34 minutes.

Chiefs struck early in the second half to take complete control of the game. Zuma and Siphelele Ntshangase combined beautifully to tee up Leonardo Castro, who chipped the ball past Sangare in the 48th minute to make it 2-0.

The hosts suffered an injury blow a few minutes later as Molangoane appeared to be badly hurt in a challenge with Makhehlene Makhaula, and Chiefs were forced to bring Bernard Parker on as a substitute.

Midway through the second half Chiefs needed Vries to make a sharp save at his near post, as Stars substitute Judas Moseamedi met a right-wing cross and glanced a header on target from close range.

That proved to be the last clear chance for the visitors, as Chiefs comfortably held out for victory to book a spot in the semis, which will be played over two legs on the weekends of August 25-26 and September 1-2.

In fact, the Amakhosi added a goal deep into injury time - of which there were 13 minutes - as Khama Billiat netted his first for the club to make it 3-0.

Kaizer Chiefs (1) 3 (Zuma 20’, Castro 48’, Billiat 90+13')
Free State Stars 0

Chiefs: Vries, Mphahlele, Ngezana, Cardoso, Ntiyantiya, Molangoane (Parker 55’), Katsande, Ntshangase (Meyiwa 88’), Billiat, Zuma (Mahlasela 73’), Castro

Stars: Sangare, Mobbie, Mahamutsa, Keita, Makhaula, Jappie (Jantjie 65’), Masehe, Maruping (Moseamedi 58’ [Matlakala 74’]), Dlamini, Tchilimbou, Rodgers.