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Mbesuma brace slays Leopards 21/08/04
Kaizer Chiefs advanced to the semi-finals of the SAA Supa 8 following their 2-1 win over Black Leopards at Soccer City on Saturday afternoon.

A double strike by striker Collins Mbesuma ensured that the Amakhosi progressed after Wonder Nhleko had pulled one back for Lidoda Duvha.

Leopards started the match well and looked to have found their rhythm the quicker of the two sides.

However, it was also a Leopards player who received the first yellow card after Ramavhale's two-footed tackle on Chiefs winger Arthur Zwane.

Shakes Mashaba's men took the game to Ted Dumitru's Castle Premiership defending champions and should have gone ahead after just six minutes when Nhleko weaved his way into the Amakhosi area, but his cross was missed by his supporting teammates.

Chiefs missed a glorious chance to take the lead when Zwane surged down the right flank before putting in a good cross for Mbesuma to run on to, but the Chiefs striker sent his header straight at Amon Phophi in the Leopards, who then parried the ball and Mbesuma sent the rebound into the side-netting.

Chiefs imposed themselves on the match and Leopards had goalkeeper Phophi to thank for keeping them in the game.

However, there was not much the stopper could do to keep out Chiefs' opener on the stroke of half-time when Mbesuma ran onto a poor pass by Christopher Netshidzivhe to volley the ball past Phophi to make the score 1-0 at the break.

Leopards restarted the match and took the game to the Amakhosi, with Kelvin Mushangazhike having his fierce drive well saved by Rowan Fernandez in the Chiefs goal.

Lidoda Duvha equalised in the 65th minute when Nhleko finished off a flowing move started by former Chiefs striker Sibusiso Dlamini, who saw his shot being parried by Fernandez and Nhleko showed good composure to first beat one defender before firing home.

Chiefs had the ball in the back of the net in the 73rd minute, but goalscorer Mbesuma was adjudged offside.

With the score remaining at 1-1, the match went into extra-time and Chiefs went 2-1 up after five minutes when Mbesuma collected the ball in midfield before surging his past the Leopards defenders, leaving Phophi no chance with a rasping effort into the top corner to secure Chiefs' place in the next round.

The Amakhosi now join Moroka Swallows and Supersport United in the semifinals after the duo beat Cape sides Ajax Cape Town and Santos, respectively, last week.


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