JOHANNESBURG. — SuperSport United’s Zimbabwean coach Kaitano Tembo was pleased that his players stuck to the plan in the win over South African soccer giants Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.
SuperSport’s defence of the MTN8 title goes on after they defeated Chiefs 1-0 in the second leg of their semi-final to advance to the final 3-2 on aggregate.
They will face Cape Town City in the final after City overcame Mamelodi Sundowns on penalties in the other MTN8 semi-final yesterday, despite losing 1-0 in the second leg at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
And Tembo claims it was important that his charges got their spaces right to stifle Amakhosi’s Zimbabwean dangerman Khama Billiat.
“In the first leg we couldn’t get our distances right. We couldn’t deal with the space in front and the space behind. We squeezed well (the spaces). We made sure he (Khama Billiat) didn’t have space to play. Even Castro,” Tembo told SuperSport TV.
“We knew as well that we needed to be a little bit patient. The pressure was on Chiefs, the longer it went at 0-0 the more they get frustrated,” he said.
Tembo went on to credit his troops for sticking to the game plan.
“You never know, if they had got one (goal) we could’ve been out. We needed to try and get them on transition. Credit to the guys they stuck to the game plan, we played well. We fought, you could see Dean (Furman) limping but fighting. That’s the attitude we need from the players,” he concluded.
In fact, the first trophy on offer for Kaizer Chiefs slipped away on Saturday as they crashed out of the MTN8 after losing to SuperSport United in their second leg tie.
Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas wasted no time in making changes after Wednesday’s collapse against Bloemfontein Celtic, as Zimbabwean Teenage Hadebe and new signing Godfrey Walusimbi came in for Daniel Cardoso and Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya.
Matsatsantsa started the match at a high tempo, searching for an early goal but they could not get chances to trouble goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.
Clayton Daniels was unlucky not to have opened the scoring for United in the 15th minute when his header hit the upright, with Khune well beaten.
Chiefs showed good link up play in their recent league clash, but the likes of Billiat and Castro were not on the same page in the first half.
A minute before the break, Zimbabwean hardman Willard Katsande almost broke the deadlock for Amakhosi with a shot from the edge of the box, but he missed the target as the half ended goalless, which favoured the Soweto giants.
Chiefs had the upper hand in the opening 10 minutes of the second stanza, although clear cut chances were hard to come by.
However, Bradley Grobler found the breakthrough for Matsatsantsa two minutes before the hour getting past Hadebe inside the box to power home a low drive into the bottom corner.
SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams kept his side in the game in the 64th minute, making a double save to deny Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Katsande who both had clear chances at close range.
Siphelele Ntshangase almost equalised for the hosts 13 minutes before time with a strike from the edge of the box, but his effort sailed agonisingly wide.
Solinas threw on Ryan Moon and Benard Parker in the closing stages of the half in an attempt to grab an equaliser, but SuperSport hung on to claim the win which sees them win the tie 3-2 on aggregate.