Harris Tchilimbou (No 27) celebrates with his Free State Stars teammates after scoring against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday night. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Spectators invaded the pitch at the final whistle after Kaizer Chiefs endured another miserable day under Steve Komphela at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday night as they were beaten 2-0 by Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semi-final.

On Thursday, the club were fined R250 000 for spectators’ bad behaviour following the 3-0 defeat to Chippa United recently.

They were ordered to pay R50 000 on the basis that they are not found guilty of committing the same offence. 

But towards the end of the match, spectators threw objects at the Chiefs bench and coach Komphela, and vandalised the stadium property.

Players were forced to run away as the fans stormed on to the pitch.

This was Amakhosi’s last opportunity of capturing a trophy this season as they have already failed in the MTN8, Telkom Knockout and Absa Premiership. 

Their objective of ending their three-year barren run was ended after 45 minutes as Stars went into the interval 2-0 up. 

Mabhida and Durban (Kings Park Stadium) used to be Chiefs’ happy hunting ground, but not since Komphela took over from Stuart Baxter in 2015.

In his first season, he became the first Kaizer Chiefs coach to lose to Mamelodi Sundowns in a final as they succumbed 3-1 in the final of the Telkom Knockout at Moses Mabhida.

In his second season, Komphela succumbed 6-5 to Free State Stars on penalties in the quarter-final of the Telkom Knockout.

At the beginning of the season, Amakhosi crashed out of the quarter-final of the MTN8 as they were well beaten by SuperSport United 2-0 at Moses Mabhida. 

Komphela also suffered defeat that had a huge impact on them as they bowed out in the Caf Champions League against Raja Casablanca at Moses Mabhida in his first season.

The first leg was played in Durban, and Chiefs lost 1-0, before going down 2-0 away from home.

It is an open secret that Komphela is leaving at the end of the season, and maybe their luck will be back because this is the stadium and city where they have won the Nedbank Cup, MTN8 and the Telkom Knockout in the past.

Stars reached their first final in 24 years on Saturday night. The last time they were in a final was back in 1994, when they lost to Vaal Professionals. In the same year, they triumphed in the Coca-Cola Cup.

Stars will face the winner of the second semi-final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Maritzburg United in the final in Cape Town on May 19.

Free State Stars broke the deadlock in the first minute through Harris Tchilimbou, who headed his side into the lead after a well-timed cross by Sinethemba Jantjie on the right.

Some of the Chiefs fans were still trying to get in when the goal was scored.

The game was played at a swift pace, and Stars were lucky to escape as two headers by Ryan Moon went wide.

Amakhosi should have been 3-1 up after 12 minutes as Joseph Molangoane went one-on-one with Thela Ngobeni, but the former Chiefs goal-minder produced a fantastic save to keep his side in the game.

Chiefs were punished again by the same man Tchilimbou after 33 minutes as he showed composure and calmness to beat Itumeleng Khune. 

Komphela showed signs of panic and desperation when he took off Philani Zulu and replaced him with Dumisani Zuma after 37 minutes.

Bernard Parker went close with a  header before the interval. 

Chiefs created numerous chances in the second half, but failed to score.


IOL Sport