Chiefs capture Telkom Knockout Cup
12 April 2010
South African glamour football club Kaizer Chiefs claimed the Telkom Knockout Cup title in Durban on Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over Ajax Cape Town. Their win was worth R4.25-million rand.
Amakhosi coach Vladimir Vermezovic was ecstatic about the victory and thrilled with his players.
"My players have been reading in newspapers in the last few weeks that I'm so arrogant," he told reporters after the game, "but, you know, if believing in my players is arrogance, then yes, I am arrogant."
He continued: "I'm very happy to win the trophy, and since this Cup is in the club's 40th anniversary, it is special. The players worked very hard and they deserve it."
Looking ahead to next season, the Serbian said: "Next season we must go for the League. Why not? I'm arrogant, and I believe we can do it."
'It was not good enough'
Ajax coach Foppe de Haan felt his side's performance fell off after a good beginning and mistakes cost them the game. He said: "I don't think we played badly, but it was not good enough."
Summing everything up, De Haan said: "In the end they scored two and we scored one and congratulations to them they deserved to win."
A crowd of 45 000, most of them Chiefs' supporters, packed into the Absa Stadium for the contest.
Ajax began the match with purpose, taking the attack to Chiefs and forcing the crowd favourites onto the back foot.
Their pressure opened up some early chances and Amakhosi goalkeeper Arthur Bartman needed to tip a shot from Dipsy Selolwane over the crossbar to prevent the Urban Warriors taking the lead.
Deniss Ivanovs failed to make the necessary contact with the ball when presented with an opportunity to score with a header, and George Maluleka caused panic in the Chiefs' defence when he shot on goal from a corner.
It was all Ajax, but midway through the half Kaizer Chiefs took the lead against the run of play. Punch Masenamela forced net-minder Hans Vonk to fend off a shot and the rebound landed favourably for Mandla Masango. He netted the ball from close range and the Phafeni Glamour Boys celebrated.
There was little more in the way of goalmouth action before half-time. However, the game sprang into life immediately after the break.
With barely a minute played, Chiefs were two goals to the good when Knowledge Musona capitalised on a mistake by Clayton Daniels. After dispossessing the defender, Musona made the Capetonians pay by beating Vonk.
Ajax fought back and tried to force the play, but Vonk was again tested on the hour-mark by Masango.
Nathan Paulse was put in the clear, but Chiefs' goalie Bartman blocked his effort.
Masango had a chance to seal the victory for Chiefs with about 20 minutes remaining, but he somehow missed the goal from only five metres out when it would have been easier to score than miss.
Ajax continued to push for a goal and were finally rewarded with five minutes to play when Bartman couldn't hold on to a cross by Paulse and Diyo Sibisi was on hand to pick up the ball and blast it into the net.
The Capetonians couldn't find a second goal in the little remaining time and Chiefs claimed the title for the seventh time in 18 editions of the competition, more than any other team.
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