PORT ELIZABETH – Kaizer Chiefs were given a run for their money, but were eventually too strong for ABC Motsepe League outfit Magic FC at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
The mighty Amakhosi needed extra-time to get past the amateurs from Cape Town in the Nedbank Cup. For two hours, Magic FC put up a brave performance, leaving the Soweto giants spellbound for most of it. Chiefs won 3-0.
One mistake undid all their hard work just before the end of the first half of extra-time when Howard Davids brought Khama Billiat down in the box to leave the referee no option but to point to the spot.
Defender Daniel Cardoso stepped up as he did in the Soweto Derby to score his second goal in two matches from the penalty spot.
Cardoso’s goal gave Chiefs’ a huge sigh of relief as they avoided a slip-up against a team two divisions lower than them. Philani Zulu and Khama Billiat made it a more respectable finish with goals later on, but the scoreline flattered Chiefs and didn’t tell the full story.
Everything about this match was surreal for Magic FC players. They got a taste of playing in a venue that hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium) in their duel with the country’s cup kings.
They played in kits that had their surnames on the back; a luxury they don’t have in the ABC Motsepe League. The millions of people who watched all over the country made up for the disappointment of not having their family and friends watching them live in Cape Town due to the club being unable to secure a venue in the Mother City.
Magic were unfazed by all of that against one of the giants of South African football. They took the match to Amakhosi in a classic David vs Goliath duel. Coincidentally a real David – Kannemeyer that is, led the amateur side from the bench against his former team.
The 41-year-old Kannemeyer sat next to the club’s technical director and owner, George Dearnaley, on the bench in what was a big afternoon for Magic.
The extra motivation for the players was that they would share half of the R250 000 they would receive for stunning Amakhosi to reach the last 16. That didn’t happen but they would have left Port Elizabeth with their heads held high.
Chiefs were cautious in how they approached the game. Ernst Middendorp fielded a strong starting XI to ensure that Chiefs didn’t lose to a lower division team for a fifth time in the Nedbank Cup’s history.
The German started with two out-and-out strikers in Leonardo Castro and Ryan Moon, with Bernard Parker operating on the right flank.
Castro and Moon had chances to put Amakhosi ahead earlier on, but they couldn’t find the back of the net. Moon hit the woodwork and Castro missed a good opportunity after turning Magic’s defence inside-out.
The longer the score remained goalless, the more anxious Chiefs’ players became while the club’s supporters grew frustrated in the stands – resorting to even telling Middendorp to make changes as his preferred starting XI wasn’t delivering.
The minnows kept their composure even when Amakhosi piled on the pressure. Their calm demeanour saw them play the ball out of the back even when they were being pressed.
Goalkeeper Bulelani Cola worked hard to keep his side in the game but was powerless to deny Cardoso from the penalty spot in extra time. The Chiefs defender’s penalty was too powerful for Cola’s trailing leg.
Zulu and Billiat scored towards the end of extra-time to ensure that Chiefs marched on to the next round of the Nedbank Cup.