Kaizer Chiefs secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United in the 2020 MTN8 quarterfinal match at the FNB Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The win sees Amakhosi, who are record 15-time MTN8 winners, join SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates in the semifinals.
The Team of Choice started the match brightly as Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune had to deny Thabiso Kutumela at the near-post seven minutes into the game.
Maritzburg were pressing Chiefs, who were struggling to contain the visitors’ front three Thabiso Kutumela, Bongani Hlongwane and Judas Moseamedi.
The visitors broke the deadlock five minutes after the half-hour mark when the Amakhosi backline was exposed by Keagan Buchanan’s defence-splitting pass to Kutumela.
The new Bafana Bafana international made no mistake as he beat Khune with a low effort to make it 1-0 to Maritzburg.
However, the Team of Choice went to sleep at the back and they were nearly punished by Yagan Sasman, whose low shot was well-saved by Maritzburg keeper Bongani Mpandle.
It should have been 2-0 to Maritzburg just before halftime when Bongani Hlongwane’s effort beat Khune, but the crossbar came to Chiefs’ rescue.
Maritzburg were deservedly leading 1-0 at the interval.
Chiefs came back rejuvenated following their halftime team talk with Hunt and they were unfortunate when Bernard Parker’s powerful effort hit the upright a minute into the second-half.
The former Bafana Bafana international was eager to level matters for the Soweto giants as he unleashed two good shots which went inches wide of the target before the hour-mark.
The Soweto giants did get the goal they had been looking for in the 73rd minute when Sasman scored from close range following a corner-kick from Khama Billiat to make it 1-1.
Maritzburg were panicking at the back and they conceded from another corner-kick from Billiat, who set-up Sasman and the defender headed home to make it 2-1 to Chiefs in the 75th minute.
Chiefs did not sit back in the closing stages of the match as Mpandle had to come out and deny Billiat as Hunt’s men looked to double their lead with a minute left on the clock.
Ultimately, Sasman’s late brace was enough to earn Chiefs a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Maritzburg on the day.
Chiefs (0) 2 (Sasman 73′, 75′)
Maritzburg (1) 1 (Kutumela 35′)
Chiefs: Khune, Frosler, Cardoso, Mphahlele, Sasman, Baccus (Mashiane 70′), Agay Akumu (Blom 46′), Ngcobo (Zulu 85′), Billiat (Ngezana 90′), Kambole (Castro 46′), Parker.
Maritzburg: Mpandle, Sanoka, Allie, De Reuck, Bongo Mbourou (Shandu 67′), Buchanan, Claasen, Morgan (Modise 52′), Hlongwane (Hlubi 82′), Moseamedi, Kutumela.