Kaizer Chiefs’ George Maluleka decimate Platinum Stars

The first leg of the first semi-final of the 2014 MTN 8 took place on August 16 at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng in the North West. Defending champions and 2013/14 season number 8 Platinum Stars hosted Kaizer Chiefs who made their way to the semi-final through trouncing Mpumalanga Black Aces 4-0.

George Maluleka
George Maluleka

Playing at home, for Platinum Stars, it would have been a great advantage not to concede any goals as any goal conceded at home might come back to haunt them when they travel to FNB Stadium in Johannesburg for the second leg.

An evenly poised match, it was no unthinkable that Platinum Stars could shock Soweto high-fliers Kaizer Chiefs. Ndumiso Mabena who faced the hardest times of his career at another Soweto club, Orlando Pirates, seem to fin his groove and inspiration in Phokeng away from the big city lights.

He kept threatening earlier on which was more than what he did at Orlando Pirates in the last two seasons. He was involved in the passage of play and knew very well where Itumeleng Khune’s goal was. However Mabena’s early endeavors proved futile as none resulted in a goal.

Although they have never experienced success like that of the 2013/14 season in the entire history, and despite the lack of hype behind their most successful season ever, Platinum Stars is displaying much better football now. They held position, played as a unit and did very well to contain the advances of the carefully crafted Kaizer Chiefs.

At the end of the first half, the deadlock was yet to be broken. The burden fell on Platinum Stars as the home team, not only to score but to also prevent Kaizer Chiefs from scoring an way goal as it might prove very vital in the return leg.

On the 51st minute George Maluleka broke the deadlock and put Amakhosi in front. This did not discourage Platinum Stars who continued to remain calm on the ball, completing good passes as they advance towards the Kaizer Chiefs penalty area. Kaizer Chiefs responded in kind as they also continued to probe until the 75th minute when they began to show some caginess and satisfaction with a single goal.

As if that was not enough, Stuart Baxter called out George Lebese, who seem to be playing at his very best these days, and brought in Morgan Gould taking the number of Kaizer Chiefs defenders to five. When Reneilwe Letsholonyane got injured late in the match, he was also substituted for a defender Ivan Bukenya bringing a number of Kaizer Chiefs defenders in the field to six.

Surprisingly, it was Kaizer Chiefs who hit the net for the second time on the 90th minute through George Maluleka free kick which ricocheted off the upright into the back of the net. Kaizer Chiefs will play the second leg at home at FNB Stadium with a great advantage over defending champions as Platinum Stars would have to score three time without Chiefs scoring in order to win or at least twice to send the match to penalties.

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