Highlands Park seek to build on 'big' win over Chiefs

Highlands Park head coach Owen Da Gama warned his team not to be complacent following their victory against Kaizer Chiefs at Makhulong Stadium.
Highlands Park head coach Owen Da Gama warned his team not to be complacent following their victory against Kaizer Chiefs at Makhulong Stadium.
Image: Veli Nhlapo.

It was a case of mission accomplished for Highlands Park as they settled the score with Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup last 16 at Makhulong Stadium, Thembisa, on Saturday.

The Lions of the North beat Chiefs 5-4 on penalties to knock them out of the competition, and also get the revenge they craved.

"We felt very hard done by when we lost [to Chiefs 2-3] in the first league game of the season with a deflection," Highlands coach Owen da Gama reflected.

"But for me it was all about character, that's what the boys showed. They deserve it. With a character like that, no one will take anything away from you. But you must give credit to Chiefs, they played very well. But unfortunately, it is not easy at Makhulong, everybody knows that," Da Gama said.

Peter Shalulile continued with his good form when he netted the opener midway through the first half, but it was not long before Chiefs found the equaliser through an own goal by Sello Motsepe.

The match was then decided on penalties with Rodney Ramagalela mising his spot kick for the home side. For Chiefs, George Maluleka and Khama Billiat failed to convert, with Musa Nyatama in the sudden death scoring the deciding penalty to send Highlnds into tomorrow's quarterfinal draw.

Though he was pleased with the victory, Da Gama asked his players not to get carried away as they have to focus on Absa Premiership matches now.

The Tembisa side have been enjoying a good run of results of late, having not lost in five matches. The last time they lost was on January 18 when they were beaten 3-1 by Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium, in Soweto.

"This victory is so big for us, it's just our second season, we are coming from the final [MTN8] and now you are beating Chiefs, you're going into the quarterfinals. It is so big.

"But I think the boys have to stay grounded, we still have two league games before we can play the quarterfinals. We are going to focus on our next league game which is Golden Arrows away game [on Saturday at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium 3.30pm]."

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