PORT ELIZABETH, April 1 (ANA) – Kaizer Chiefs held off a late onslaught from Baroka FC at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday night to secure a 1-0 win in a pulsating Nedbank Cup quarter-final match.
Baroka certainly made the Soweto giants sweat for their win, and in a game in which there was a missed penalty and in which the woodwork denied either side, a goal seven minutes before half-time from Erick Mathoho proved the difference and saw Chiefs a step closer to some silverware.
Bakgaga had their periods of dominance throughout the night and the Limpopo side got off to a blistering start down in Port Elizabeth, with Robin Ngalande and Talent Chawapiwa giving the Chiefs defence a torrid time.
And there were a couple of half-chances, including an audacious long range chip from Gift Motupa, his quick thinking nearly catching out Itumeleng Khune.
After a sluggish start, Chiefs finally snapped to life around the half hour mark as Ryan Moon had a header well saved by Ayanda Dlamini, who also kept out Ramahlwe Mphahlele’s effort.
Amakhosi looked to drive home their advantage and after some outstanding work by Hendrick Ekstein, Moon curled a 35th minute shot into the woodwork. The rebound fell to Ekstein, but from close range, he was denied by a brilliant stop by Dlamini.
But the Soweto team were to be rewarded soon after when Mathoho stole in at the near post with a well-timed header to direct Siphiwe Tshabalala’s corner into the back of the net.
And it should have been 2-0 to the hosts on the night when Castro earned a penalty after he tempted Abdi Banda into a foul inside the box. Moon, though, failed to score as he blazed his spot kick over the goal.
Bakgaga came storming back after half-time and Khutso Mohwatseleng drew a save from Khune before another breath-taking run from Chawapiwa teed up Richard Matloga for a diving header, but his effort struck the outside of the bar.
Khune also had to keep out a shot from Mduduzi Mdatsane while Ngalande fired an effort over as Baroka continued to threaten with an equaliser.
Matloga then missed a golden opportunity when he got his angles all wrong and headed wide from a teasing 85th minute cross from the elusive Chawapiwa.
There were some anxious moments late on for Chiefs, but they were able to hang on to secure their spot in Sunday’s Nedbank Cup semi-final draw.