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Thursday, December 7, 2023

MTN 8: AmaZulu hold Kaizer Chiefs, set up final clash with Orlando Pirates

AmaZulu are through to the MTN 8 final following a 0-0 semifinal second leg draw against Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg the result in the return match is enough to send Usuthu through via the away goal rule for Romain Folz’s side, who remained defensively solid as the Kaizer Chiefs attack remained befuddled throughout the match. AmaZulu will face Orlando Pirates on November 5 with an opportunity to win their first ever MTN 8 in the final which will also take place at the same venue.

An energetic start from both teams gave the impression that the match would have goals in it. Chiefs playmaker Keagan Dolly provided the first threat to either goal when he lashed a low long range shot wide of the AmaZulu goal before Siphesile Maduna scuffed his shot from inside the Chiefs penalty area just wide five minutes later.

The hosts went on to be the more threatening side for the remainder of the first half with George Maluleka’s powerful effort heading right at Chiefs goalkeeper Brandon Peterson for the shot stopper to catch in the 24th minute. AmaZulu forward Augustine Chidi was able to slip past two Chiefs defenders ten minutes later but with the goal begging an excellent last second sliding challenge from left back Sifiso Hlanti saved the day for Amakhosi.

AmaZulu came out after the halftime break determined to remain defensively solid, daring Chiefs to break them down. The visitors could not meet the challenge and Chiefs supporters endured a frustrating second half. Chiefs midfielder Yusuf Maart’s curling long range effort was high and wide in the 67th minute and Dolly had a volley attempt with a similar result a minute later, representing the closest Chiefs came to breaking the deadlock. In the end the scoreless result pleased AmaZulu who denied a Soweto Derby final and now have an opportunity to win their first trophy since the Telkom Knockout in 1992.

Highlights from Durban are below.