JOHANNESBURG - Kaizer Chiefs’ interim coach Arthur Zwane has lauded the heroics of goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma during their famous win away at Wydad Casablanca in the first leg of their Caf Champions League semi-finals at Mohammed V Stadium on Saturday night.
After a turbulent outing in domestic football, Chiefs sent their supporters into a frenzy after achieving an improbable feat by defeating Wydad 1-0 away from home in their first of two meetings in the semis. Thanks to a goal from striker Samir Nurkovic in the first half.
The Glamour Boys needed the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for their goal to stand as the referee’s assistant had already judged the Serb for an offside. But they’ll be more grateful to Bvuma for his heroics between the sticks during the game.
The 26-year-old shot-stopper produced a Man of the Match award winning performance after his daring saves ensured that Chiefs held a healthy advantage ahead of the second leg in Johannesburg. That’s why he even broke down after the final whistle.
“I think Bruce is growing in stature and working very hard as a young man,” Zwane told the media in his post-match reactions. "We're very close to each other. We used to be together in the development structures. Before the game, I told him that it's key for him to keep a clean sheet.”
He continued: “I told him to make sure we don't concede and that will go a long way, especially for his career. And it happened exactly how we planned it. Maybe that is why he broke down after the game because he was obviously happy not to concede.”
Chiefs have punched above their weight in order to reach this stage of the competition, especially having had to secure a top-eight finish in the league on the last day of the season. That's why by winning the Champions League they’ll bring some redemption to their season.
But that’s easier said than done though as Zwane knows that “it’s not yet over. We are still going back home where we’ll play the second leg. Obviously, we’ll try to finish the game there. We’ve done what we came here for. We wanted to get a goal or two, but unfortunately we got one".
If Chiefs manage to hold their nerves at home and make it through to the final, they might meet the reigning champions Al Ahly - who defeated Esperance 1-0 away from home in the other semi-final – in a clash that could see them come up against South African-born coach Pitso Mosimane.