Kaizer Chiefs had to dig deep into their cup pedigree to go through to the next round of the inaugural Nedbank Cup when they beat Ajax Cape Town 2-0 in extra-time in Durban on Friday night.
A penalty taken by defender, Fabian McCarthy, followed by a classical goal by Mabhudi Khenyeza, ensured AmaKhosi a place in the last 16 of the lucrative cup.
The game was entertaining since both teams showed a lot of character and a willingness to win, but it was Chiefs' experience that saw them through in the end.
After the teams were deadlocked in 90 minutes and gone into extra-time, their supporters were already looking forward to penalties when referee Thabo Nkosi adjudged Clayton Daniels to have fouled Khenyeza, and McCarthy made no mistake with the spot kick.
A minute later Khenyeza was put through by Derrick Spencer and easily picked his spot to make it 2-0. Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala said they knew they were going to win in extra time.
"Our game plan was to score early, so we created a lot of chances in the first 15 minutes, but we couldn't convert. We knew that if we went into extra time, they would tire and they did. At the beginning of the season, we set ourselves the target of winning at least two trophies and I think this is our chance to achieve that.".
Mushin Ertugral said he was satisfied with the commitment shown by his players in their last two games.
"They have shown a willingness to win but at times they try so hard that they end up making mistakes," he said.
Ajax assistant coach, Wilfred Mugeyi said the loss was a blessing in disguise because they would now channel their energy into their league campaign.