Maze Cup Final
Result: Kaizer Chiefs 1 (6)- (5)1 Free State Stars
Date: 14 July 2018
Venue: James Motlatsi Stadium
Kaizer Chiefs successfully defended their Maize Cup title after defeating Free State Stars 6-5 on penalties on Saturday evening.
Khama Billiat, Virgil Vries, Kabelo Mahlasela and Letlhogonolo Mirwa were all handed debuts for the Soweto giants.
Amakhosi started the match at a high tempo and nearly drew first blood in the first few minutes but Stars goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare was alert.
The Bethlehem outfit could not get out of their own half in the first quarter of an hour as Patrick Mabedi’s charges were pressing high.
Mahlasela had a wonderful opportunity to open the scoring for Chiefs in the 21st minute after going through inside the box but he fluffed his chance.
Leonardo Castro eventually broke the deadlock for Amakhosi in the 29th minute with a strike at the far post after Khama Billiat forced an error inside the box, of 1-0.
Castro almost got a second goal for the Glamour Boys six minutes before the break with a strike at the near post but Sangare made a good save.
Ea Lla Koto did see a bit more of the ball in the closing stages of the half, but they were unable to carve out a clear-cut opening.
Congolese forward Harris Tschilbou should have equalised for Stars on the hour-mark after finding himself with space and time in the goal-mouth area but he opted for a spectacular over-head kick that was tipped over the bar by Chiefs’ new shot-stopper Vries.
Mabedi’s troops were defending deep in their own half with 20 minutes left, handing over the initiative to attack to Luc Eymael’s men.
Stars were awarded a penalty eight minutes before time after a tough challenge inside the box and new recruit Eleazar Rodgers calmly converted the spot-kick, 1-1.
The two sides could not get the winner in regulation time as they were hobbling towards the end and the match went into penalties, where the Soweto giants held their nerve to triumph 6-5.
Here's how they lined up:
Chiefs: 16. Vries, 3. Mathoho, 4. Cardoso, 24. Mirwa, 18. Moleko, 10. Ntshangase, 31. Katsande, 23. Molongoane, 11. Billiat, 17. Mahlasela, 8. Castro.