Bernard Parker. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX
Bernard Parker. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX

Kaizer Chiefs’ quest for a first piece of silverware in the Steve Komphela era moved a step in the right direction with a controversial victory over Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday as a generous penalty saw them to a 1-0 away win in their Telkom Knockout quarterfinal tie.

Referee Phelelani Ndaba took centre stage as he surprisingly penalised Chippa captain James Okwuosa for a shoulder charge on Joseph Molongoane to allow Bernard Parker to stroke the ball home from the spot. The 29th-minute decision turned the game in favour of Chiefs after Chippa had made a bright start.

A horror clash near the end put a damper on the occasion as Kurt Lentjies cluttered into Itumeleng Khune and both were taken to hospital as a result. Khune has a suspected eye socket injury and Lentjies was suffering from concussion with the Bafana goalkeeper likely to be out for the two World Cup qualifiers against Senegal.

Chiefs netted the ball on two other occasions but Parker was offside in the fourth minute and Willard Katsande unlucky to be adjudged offside at the end of a free kick in the 37th minute.

Chippa might be furious with the referee, but also have themselves to blame for not taking the opportunity of a perfect start when, after just eight minutes, Chiefs’ defender Mulomowandau Mathoho ran into his own goalkeeper — presumably unable to hear the call from the keeper — and the ball spilled to Andile Mbenyane, who had an open goal yet hit it wide.

The competition seems to have been afflicted by some sort of "poor finishing virus" with many games now full of instances of golden chances being spurned.

Lerato Manzini could also have scored after just 10 minutes after a clever back heel over the top of the Chiefs’ defence by Abel Mabaso and 10 minutes later, Chippa saw Mbenyane fluff his pass to Manzini after a mistake by Daniel Cardoso.

Chippa had the lion’s share of possession in the second half, but the tempo dropped off as the sides increasingly grew tired, both playing their third game in a week.


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