diskidaily.co.zaChiefs Player Ratings: The Game Changers, Saile And Du Preez Lead Chiefs To Round Of 16

Chiefs Player Ratings: The Game Changers, Saile And Du Preez Lead Chiefs To Round Of 16

THE TOUGH SAIL: The Kaizer Chiefs hit rough waters in their quest to reach the round of 16 in the Nedbank Cup, but emerged victorious against Maritzburg United.

The Glamour Boys battled against a tenacious Team of Choice, but thanks to some key substitutions, they finally docked into the next round for the first time in three years. Kgaogelo Sekgota and Happy Mashiane brought the fire that the Chiefs needed to blast past Maritzburg and secure goals from Christian Saile Basomboli and Ashley du Preez.

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Brandon Peterson

Brandon Petersen 8/10

It was a night to remember for Bruce Petersen, who played the key role with some stunning saves that kept Maritzburg United off the scoresheet.

In the 36th minute, the Kaizer Chiefs Goalkeeper showed off his impressive reflexes by getting a solid grip on Jose Ali Meza’s stunning left-footed shot and maintaining the 0-0 score.

Later, in the second half, he rose to the occasion once again, with a finger-tip save that defied Rowan Huma’s powerful shot and saved the Chiefs defense from embarrassment after they let the midfielder breeze past them.

Petersen had a relatively easy night until then and the Maritzburg United side, playing with one less man, didn’t pose much of a threat for the rest of the game.

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Siyabonga Ngezana 6.5/10

Ngezana stepped up to the plate and took on the role of a makeshift right-back with aplomb, filling in for the injured duo of Solomons and Frosler.

The lanky center-back showed his versatility and adventurous spirit, venturing up the field to whip in a few tantalizing crosses, one of which Basomboli narrowly missed connecting with.

But despite his impressive performance, Ngezana missed a golden opportunity to score, as he shot wide from a rebound when he had the goal at his mercy 12 minutes from time. Poor Ngezana, so close yet so far.

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Sifiso Hlanti, Kaizer Chiefs

Sifiso Hlanti 7/10

The former AmaZulu FC star continued to soar down the pitch with his forward runs and dropped tantalizing crosses in the box. He combined his offensive prowess with a solid defensive display.

CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR: The winger came within a whisker of scoring his second goal in three matches when he connected with a Edmilson Dove’s knockdown. But alas, the ball couldn’t find a way through the wall of legs blocking the goal. He was swapped out for Happy Mashiane 10 minutes from time, perhaps to catch his breath.

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Zitha Kwinika

Zitha Kwinika 6/10

The defender hailing from Soweto started strong, but as the match progressed, he began to wobble. At first, he was given a rough time by the former Buccaneer, Kwame Peprah, but the task became a tad simpler once Maritzburg were down a man.

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Edmilson Dove

Edmilson Dove 7/10

The steadfast center-back was once again a staple in the starting XI, showcasing his poise and confidence in his 15th appearance of the season.

Dove didn’t shy away from surging forward, always ready to add some offensive flair to set pieces. In the second half, he nearly made magic happen with a well-placed connection off a Keagan Dolly free-kick, almost setting up Hlanti for a goal.

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Sinethemba Sithebe

Sinethemba Sithebe 7.5/10

The metronome of Kaizer Chiefs, Sithebe, conducted the symphony of the match, leading the charge from the backlines and delivering the grand finale with his silky passing skills.

He was a powerhouse on the pitch, covering every inch, and almost gave the crowd a showstopper early on with his brilliant setup of Mduduzi Shabalala just three minutes in.

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Yusuf Maart

Yusuf Maart 6/10

The old-timer of the team, Maart, pulled another classic performance in his 21st game for Kaizer Chiefs.

He left behind his conservative performance from the previous match and took the game by storm, almost scoring a stunner just before halftime. He was substituted by the young blood, Phathutshedzo Nange, with only 11 minutes left on the clock.

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Keagan Dolly

Keagan Dolly 4.5/10

The appointed skipper had a lackluster outing on the wing, as he failed to make any significant contributions to Amakhosi’s attacking play.

Despite being the captain, Dolly remained invisible on the field, with Christian Saile Basomboli frequently stealing the spotlight by venturing out to the right.

Sadly, Dolly’s lackluster performance earned him an early exit in the 62nd minute, with Kgaogelo Sekgota taking his place.

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Mduduzi Shabalala

Mduduzi Shabalala 6.5/10

The youthful phenom, Mduduzi Shabalala, brought his A-game to the pitch with two attempts on target, one from Sinethemba Sithebe’s perfect setup and another from Christian Saile Basomboli’s fancy footwork.

However, things took a turn for the physical when Maritzburg’s Travis Graham tried to halt Shabalala’s blazing counter-attack by taking him down with a straight red card. Though the midfielder was hobbled by the challenge, he valiantly powered through the first half, but was subbed out for Wandile Duba at halftime.

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Ashley Du Preez

Ashley du Preez 8/10

The fleet-footed forward could’ve made this game a snoozer with two chances that were as good as gold in the first half.

Du Preez let one rip with a scorching right-footed shot, only for Ndlovu to deny him with a magnificent save. He almost scored again with a flying header from Sekgota’s highball, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

But, in the end, he got his just desserts with a fantastic finish from Happy Mashiane in extra-time.

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Christian Basomboli Saile

Christian Basomboli Saile 8.5/10

Saile was a force to be reckoned with on the pitch, displaying his predatory instincts by pouncing on the goalkeeper’s blunder and securing the match-winning goal in extra time.

With the ball coming in from the back post, Ndlovo couldn’t keep it at bay and Saile swooped in to claim his reward for a brilliant performance in his first starting role for Amakhosi.

Throughout the match, Saile had been a nightmare for the Maritzburg defense, using his speed and strength to create chances, including two headers in the first half and setting up Shabalala early in the game.

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Kgaogelo Sekgota

Kgaogelo Sekgota 7.5/10

The 62nd minute substitution was like a breath of fresh air for Amakhosi as the speedy Sekgota entered the pitch.

He made an immediate impact with a head-on pass to Du Preez, followed by a close call for a goal two minutes later.

In extra time, Sekgota was a force to be reckoned with, blazing down the left wing and giving Maritzburg’s defense a run for their money.

His two crosses were almost converted by Du Preez and Saile as they searched for more goals. And, as if that wasn’t enough, he set the stage for the second goal with a scintillating move.

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Happy Mashiane

Happy Mashiane 7/10

Another substitute who had a great game, Mashiane provided the assist for Du Preez’s goal and was also heavily involved in the first.

His good forward run saw him bring in the cross that was headed in before Ndlovu fumbled to allow Saile the opportunity to break the deadlock.

 

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