Chiefs reach MTN8 final thanks to 1-0 win

George Lebese’s first half strike helped Kaizer Chiefs beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in the MTN8 Cup semifinal second leg at FNB Stadium on Saturday night.

The first leg ended 1-1 in Bloemfontein.

Although the visitors started brightly, Siwelele had a number of clear cut scoring opportunities but failed to convert.

Amakhosi enjoyed ball possession but the likes of Mthokozisi Dube and Musa Bilankulu were solid at the back for Celtic. However, it was a great combination by Celtic’s men down the right flank when Thapelo Morena received a good pass only for Itumeleng Khune to read the situation and clear the danger.

The rivalry between Bilankulu and Siphelele Mthembu continued as the former committed a foul and Amakhosi had a set piece; skipper Siphiwe Tshabalala’s delivery was dangerous, but Patrick Tignyemb punched it away.

In the 19th minute, Siwelele could’ve changed the game when Keagan Buchanan was set up by Musa Nyatama, however, he missed with only Khune to beat as his shot went wide of the goal.

But towards halftime, Lebese exchanged passes with Mthembu which allowed him to take a shot and beat the Cameroonian 'keeper to open the scoring for the hosts.

Amakhosi came back stronger in the second stanza as they kept Siwelele under pressure, with Willard Katsande coming close to a second goal in the 59th minute.

Three minutes later, Phunya Sele Sele could’ve settled the score when Nyatama broke free only to fire a weak shot on goal and Khune collected with ease.

In retaliation, Steve Komphela’s men created a good chance when Siboniso Gaxa’s attempt brought out a fantastic save from Tignyemb to deny the right back from close range.

The hosts kept the visitors under constant pressure and with just under twenty minutes to go, Tsepo Masilela's header was saved by Tignyemb who made a double save as he continued to shine between the goalposts.

As the clock was slowly moving against Celtic, they resorted to long balls into the box and Khune commanded the penalty area with ease. Clinton Larsen tried all he could to motivate his troops but it wasn’t meant to be for the Free Staters.

In the dying minutes of the tie, skipper Tshabalala missed a chance to score as Komphela’s men made it through to the final and will wait for the winner between Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town on Sunday afternoon.

Kaizer Chiefs (1) (Lebese 41’)

Bloemfontein Celtic 0

TEAMS

Kaizer Chiefs: Khune; Gaxa, Xulu, Mathoho, Masilela; Tshabalala, Katsande, Letsholonyane (Ndulula 90+3’), Lebese (Bukenya 77’); Parker, Mthembu (Maluleka 63’)

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Buchanan (Shikweni 66’), Ndengane, Rikhotso, Bilankulu, Mogapi, Pelembe (Lakay 76’), Morena, Nyatama, Dube, Lamola (Massa 58’)