Nelspruit - Kaizer Chiefs stormed into the second round of the Nedbank Cup with a 3-0 win over Wits in their last 32 encounter in Nelspruit on Saturday evening.
Kingston Nkhatha found the back of the net for Amakhosi as early as the 13th minute, but the towering forward’s attempt was ruled offside.
Minutes later Bafana speedster Siphiwe Tshabalala launched an attack down the left flank but his strike was denied by Wits custodian Ryan Harrison who muscled the tiny striker into touch.
Nkhatha was given a chance to redeem himself on the half-hour mark when he broke free with only the keeper to beat. His shot was poorly struck, coming off the outside of his boot and sending the ball careening into the stands.
Three minutes later Ryan Chapman came close for the Students, but his header hit the crossbar.
Soon after, midfielder Siboniso Gaxa powered through the Wits defense, latching on to a long through ball from Tshabalala and stumbling past an approaching Harrison to score the opener.
Wits launched a counter attack, spearheaded by Matthew Pattison, but they failed to break through an organised Chiefs defensive.
Morgan Gould stretched the advantage for the Soweto outfit four minutes after the interval, climbing high to reach a Tshabalala corner, with his clinical header finding the back of the net.
In a relentless onslaught, Chiefs then upped the pace and sent a barrage of shots at the Wits goal, forcing Harrison to make two painful saves, including a Matthew Rusike strike which lifted the keeper off his feet.
Wits seemed to buckle under the pressure as the visitors dominated possession, and in the 61st minute Pattison was carded for a dangerous tackle on Chiefs right winger Lucky Baloyi. The resulting free-kick amounted to another goal attempt by Gould which just shaved the post.
Amakhosi coach Stuart Baxter made two substitutions in the 70th minute which saw Bernard Parker and Reneilwe Letsholonyane earning some game time.
Parker made his presence felt a minute later with a shot which just missed the target.
Replacement Mandla Masango headed the ball in off the rebound with 10 minutes left to seal the win for Chiefs, as former champions Wits were eliminated from the knockout competition. - Sapa