JOHANNESBURG – Katlego Ntsabeleng finally received the signal from Kaizer Chiefs’ ancestors. That response inspired Chiefs to a 3-1 win over Mamelodi Sundowns in the final of the inaugural MultiChoice Diski Shield on Saturday.
In a sold-out thriller, there were three important things to play for: the inaugural Diski Shield trophy, the R150 000 that the teams would donate to the CSI initiative of their choice and Gauteng’s bragging rights.
Sundowns were on a hunt for their third trophy in two seasons after having won the Diski Challenge and the inaugural International Challenge.
Coming into this encounter, they were also motivated by their big brothers, who had just sealed the club’s eighth Absa Premiership.
For Chiefs, this tournament was about finding the balance between the development of players and at the same promoting the club’s culture of winning trophies, according to coach Arthur Zwane.
However, that phrase was starting to become a cliché for the club, considering that their senior team have endured a three-year-barren.
The lads who failed to get silverware for the club since the 2014/2015 season were present at the final, and the reserves were looking for a signal from the club’s ancestors on how to overturn their embarrassing deficit, and they responded courtesy of Ntsabeleng.
The Brazilians started off like a house on fire, as they took the game to Amakhosi.
As a result, their early persistence was rewarded as they drew the first blood after a blunder by goalkeeper by goalkeeper Brylon Petersen.
Petersen failed to deal with a low drive header from an unmarked Vuyo Mantjie inside his box; hence the ball slipped between his legs, and when he recovered, it had already crossed the line.
Promise Mkhuma continued with his free role in attack and was supported upfront by talisman Keletso Makgalwa. The duo gave the Glamour Boys a panic attack on a number of occasions, but their finishing let them down.
Chiefs’ Itumeleng Shopane was clearly not going to let Mkhuma overshadow him after they each bagged two successive Man-of-the-Match accolades.
Shopane grinded for an Amakhosi comeback until he was rewarded, which forced the Downs defence into an error that got Chiefs a penalty.
Yusuf Bunting took the responsibility and converted. That goal was what they needed to turn things around.
And Ntsabeleng came back to haunt his former team. The trickster made a solo run into Sundowns’ box and left a couple of men on the ground before slotting past an on-rushing Koketso Tshabalala.
It wasn’t long before he produced a clever through-ball that put Bunting one-on-one with Tshabalala, but his shot came off the upright.
The team from Naturena grew in confidence, and they got back into their usual football of constructive passes and flair.
As a result, that haunted Sundowns as they were forced to concede yet another penalty, and Given Thibedi stepped up and put the final nail in the coffin.