Last weekend, another football giant fell by the wayside in the ongoing Nedbank Cup. Kaizer Chiefs fell short against Highlands Park following a last-16 penalty shootout after 1-1 draw past extra time. Zimbabwean international Khama Billiat watched in awe as his spot-kick bounced off the post, opening the doors for Highlands Park to advance.
To secure the win, the experienced Musa Nyatama slammed his penalty kick over Itumeleng Khune into the net’s roof to end the game with a 5-4 shootout victory. The Chief’s exit comes only a few weeks after major crowd-puller, Orlando Pirates, lost in the round of 32 to Bidvest Wits through a penalty shootout.
Namibian star Peter Shalulile scored the Highlands’ first goal in the 57th minute, though the pitch was barely hospitable due to heavy rains. Shalulile is among the league’s most consistent performers, and he scores regularly. Nonetheless, Shalulile’s goal rattled the hosts, and six minutes later, Sello Motsepe conceded an own goal to equalize the game in front of 10,000 fans at the Makhulong stadium.
With no other goals during the game’s regular and extra time, it came down to a penalty shootout, and each team converted four out of five mandatory kicks. Billiat fluffed the first kick to allow Nyatama to record his first goal in the game, making him the toast of Tembisa.
A Game of Roulette
Like many fans will tell you, the match between the Chiefs and Highlands was similar to a roulette game in Betway. You can check the Betway South Africa app download to take a quick look at the game, among many others.
According to former Derry City forward and Highlands Coach Owen Da Gama, his team won the game because of hard work and character. The win was also special for the team as Kaizer Chiefs has been a very challenging opponent for the Highlands this season, beating them home and away.
On the other hand, the Chief’s coach Ernst Middendorp said the poor state of the pitch during the game contributed to their downfall. Middendorp said that while he wasn’t trying to make any excuses for the loss, the team’s passing was sub-standard partly because of the conditions, making the cup tie a game of roulette.
Following the loss, South Africa’s most successful club, the Chiefs, will need to retain the lead in the remaining ten rounds for them to end their five-year title drought. Meanwhile, their rivals Mamelodi Sundowns are resting their regulars ahead of the CAF Champions League clash with the Egyptian side, Al Ahly this weekend.
Last weekend, Mamelodi clashed fourth-tier VUT in Pretoria, ending the game 2-0. The 2016 African champions took 54 minutes to unlock their opponent’s defense, with center-back Wayne soaring over two opponents to put a corner past Obakeng Naane. Soon after, VUT missed a penalty, and 19 minutes later, Mamelodi got the chance to double the lead.
In Polokwane, Baroka outwitted lower-league team, the Hungry Lions after conceding two own goals, but ended the game 4-2 after a penalty shootout. As a result, Baroka, Sundowns, and highlands will join Bloemfontein Celtic and Black Leopards in the quarter-finals alongside second-tier pair, Real kings, and TS Sporting.