Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Billiat 94’)
Zesco United (1) 2 (Akumu 10’, Were 69’)
Kaizer Chiefs were edged 2-1 by Zambia’s Zesco United in the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup play-off round played at FNB Stadium on Saturday night. There was a consolation goal from Khama Billiat in the dying seconds of the encounter. Amakhosi certainly deserved more, as they created numerous chances, but it wasn’t to be.
Billiat was given a break against AmaZulu on Wednesday, even though coming on as a substitute in the second half, but the Zimbabwean was back in the starting XI against Zesco.
Another one back was George ‘Mido’ Maluleka, who had recovered from injury.
Amakhosi had lost the first leg 3-1 in Zambia and therefore needed to win with a two-goal difference to go through on aggregate.
Chiefs tried to take the initiative early on, even though it didn’t result in any immediate goalscoring opportunities.
Even worse, it was Zesco that scored in the 10th minute. Hendrick Ekstein lost the ball in Chiefs’ own half to Antony Akumu, who steamed forward and let go of a scorcher at goal. The ball flew low over the ground past goalkeeper Virgil Vries in the right corner.
Amakhosi tried to pile up the pressure, although the visitors continued to be dangerous on the counter.
Leonardo Castro did get a chance to score, but his header wasn’t convincing. That was a pity as the Colombian striker is usually lethal with his head.
The half-time score was 1-0 for the visitors.
Coach Ernst Middendorp decided to bring in Kabelo Mahlasela for Teenage Hadebe at the start of the second half. The Zimbabwean had a good game, but the coach obviously wanted some more threat going forward by bringing on Mahlasela.
Dax Andrianarimanana, meanwhile, came on for Leonardo Castro, also at the start of the second half. The Malagasy went to play at right-back, trying to get some more offensive movement going over the right flank.
Trying to push more men forward did result in a chance for Daniel Cardoso early on, but he couldn’t get the ball past the Zambian goalkeeper.
Still, Zesco defended full of confidence, especially making life difficult for the Glamour Boys in midfield.
However, it was the Zambian side which scored their second in the 69th minute. Willard Katsande was dispossessed of the ball and the dangerous Lazerous Kambole ran with the ball into the box. Thereafter the ball got to Jessie Were, who finished, 2-0. Were had already scored two goals against Chiefs at home.
There was a late goal from Billiat and it was a beauty. Siphelele Ntshangase, who had come on as a substitute, delivered a ball through the air to the Zimbabwean who had entered Zesco’s box. Billiat rose high up, took the ball with him via his chest and accordingly slotted the ball easily home with his right foot from close range.
In the end, Zesco went through 5-2 on aggregate.
It was, however, good for Chiefs to be back playing in a CAF competition after having been absent for the last two seasons. The team will have gained some valuable experience to use in the league and the upcoming Nedbank Cup.
Key moment in the match:
That must be Zesco United’s goal in the 10th minute, which meant that Kaizer Chiefs now had to score three or more goals to have a chance of going through.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Teenage Hadebe did well in defence and Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya had a good run at left-back. Otherwise, it was a tough night for Amakhosi, although Kabelo Mahlasela delivered a fine performance after coming in, threatening a few times the Zesco United defence.
What it means:
It means that Kaizer Chiefs are out of the CAF Confederation Cup, while Zesco United go on to the group stage.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Vries; Cardoso, Booysen, Hadebe (Mahlasela 46’), Ntiya-Ntiya; Ekstein, Katsande, Maluleka (Ntshangase 59’), Billiat; Parker, Castro (Andrianarimanana 46’)
Subs not used: Bvuma, Ngezana, Walusimbi, Moon
Zesco United 11: Banda; Silwimbi (Sakala 88’), Akumu, Mwape, Phiri Jr; Mwape, Mtonga, John Ching’andu (Misheck 73’), Kambole; Osuman (Maybin Kalengo 79’), Were
Subs not used: Mwelwa, Logic Ching’andu, Wistone Kalengo, Ntibahezwa
Kaizer Chiefs will next travel to the Eastern Cape to face Tornado FC at Mdantsane’s Sisa Dukashe Stadium in a Nedbank Last 32 fixture on Sunday, 27 January 2019. Kick-off is at 15:00
SOURCED FROM THE KAIZER CHIEFS WEBSITE.