KAIZER Chiefs defeated arch-rivals Orlando Pirates 3-0 in a dramatic penalty shootout at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban yesterday to reach the final of the Telkom Knockout after the sides failed to score after extra time in this classic semifinal.
Pirates' penalty-taking was shocking, missing two and having one saved. Chiefs needed only three penalties to secure their place in the final.
Happy Jele had two chances. One was saved by Amakhosi goalkeeper Arthur Bartman, who moved early, requiring a retake.
But he missed the next attempt while Terror Fanteni had his shot saved by Bartman and then Ndumiso Mabena was wide with his spot kick.
The teams have played five hours without registering a goal in open play this season. But yesterday's 0-0 stalemate after extra time was better than both goalless league draws put together, with end-to-end action to entertain the capacity holiday crowd of 50000. The match had just about everything - except goals.
Chiefs will play Ajax Cape Town in Saturday's final. The PSL is expected to announce the venue today.
Pirates were outplayed in a one-sided first 45 minutes. Chiefs had Bucs in all sorts of trouble and had it not been for some great goalkeeping from Senzo Meyiwa and some desperate defending, Amakhosi would have taken a considerable lead.
Chiefs were hungrier, more committed and quicker to the ball. Outstanding for Chiefs in this period was strongman Tinashe Nengomasha, who stamped his authority on the midfield.
Meyiwa was called on to make two successive saves in the 12th minute when he did well to first block a good effort from Knowledge Musona and from the rebound was able to push away Mthokozisi Yende's follow-up shot. Three minutes later Musona broke through but his shot was off target.
Meyiwa did well again a minute later when he denied Mandla Masango a goal with another fine save.
Chiefs kept piling forward but Pirates refused to wilt and weathered the storm by coming back late in the half. Bennett Chenene wasted a chance in the 38th minute when he shot wide.
Meyiwa again came to Bucs' rescue when he prevented defender Rooi Mahamutsa from scoring a spectacular own goal in trying to clear a Masango cross in the 42nd minute.
A minute later Bartman made his first save of the game when he tipped Dikgang Mabalane's shot over his crossbar.
Pirates took control in the second half. Bartman pulled off a great save from Mabalane in the 57th minute. Mabena missed a glorious chance in the 68th minute when he latched onto a Chenene cross but blasted his shot over the crossbar.
Bartman did well to save from Bucs substitute Fanteni in the 77th minute.
Fanteni had just replaced the out-of-sorts Katlego Mashego. Then with Bucs pushing forward Happy Jele headed a Mabalane free-kick over the crossbar when he had the goal at his mercy.
Chiefs substitute David Mathebula inched a shot wide in the 85th minute as the match headed for extra time.
Fanteni ricocheted a powerful shot off the crossbar in the 92nd minute as Bucs increased the pressure on Amakhosi in extra time.
At the other end Musona completely missed a cross from Yende. The match ended on a sour note for Bucs and Mahamutsa, who was sent off late in extra time by referee Daniel Bennett. - Sapa