Chiefs held by Bamenda at FNB as Mathoho’s goal in Cameroon proves decisive

Gavin Hunt and his technical team at Kaizer Chiefs are facing a mammoth task to return the club to its glory days.
Gavin Hunt and his technical team at Kaizer Chiefs are facing a mammoth task to return the club to its glory days.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs could only manage a 0-0 draw in the second leg at FNB Stadium on Saturday night to follow their 1-0 away win, which was enough for Amakhosi to negotiate past PWD Bamenda in the 2020-21 Caf Champions League preliminary round.

Chiefs will now face Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto in the first round later this month and in early January for a place in the group stage.

Tournament rookies Bamenda had all sorts of logistical issues reaching South Africa at all, as the fixture was first moved by Caf to allow for the Cameroonian club’s travel problems from Friday night to 7pm on Saturday, and then by a further hour to 8pm.

PWD, who won their first league title in Cameroon this year, arrived hours before that late kickoff.

It showed, and Chiefs had the better running of the 90 minutes. Although, considering the circumstances the West Africans also put in a gritty defensive performance to claw to preserving a 0-0 scoreline in the second leg.

Chiefs did manufacture a decent share of chances, though some slack finishing and PWD’s athletic goalkeeper Haschou Kerrido stood in the way of the Soweto giants adding to Erick Mathoho’s 83rd-minute winner on Sunday in Limbe, which also proved the deciding goal of the tie.

Chiefs looked a team who had been patiently waiting and training for Bamenda to arrive. They were dominant, though without hitting any sort genuine rhythm.

Amakhosi were better organised, had the more cohesive build-ups, won the 50/50s and dominated possession and territory in a first half that was largely one-way traffic to the gold and black.

Lebogang Manyama’s free-kick midway through the half was curled past the wall with sting to it to force a diving save from Kerrido.

Khama Billiat’s chip across the area picked out the free head of central midfielder Anthony Akumu, who steered an attempted finish inches wide with the goal beckoning.

A second free-kick by Manyama was also on target, but comfortably into the arms of Kerrido.

Chiefs continued to pile on the pressure at the start of the second half, as Bernard Parker, in a combination with left-back Philani Zulu, burst through and just could not squeeze a cross past Kerrido.

Yet another Manyama free-kick, this time from near the left touchline, was curled awkwardly just under the crossbar to be again kept out by PWD’s athletic goalkeeper.

Substitute Leonardo Castro curled an effort wide of the left upright. The Colombian volleyed into the side-netting from the edge of the area.

Chiefs’ starting XI: Itumeleng Khune (capt.), Kgotso Moleko, Erick Mathoho, Daniel Cardoso, Philani Zulu, Anthony Akumu, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Siphelele Ntshangase, Lebogang Manyama, Bernard Parker, Khama Billiat