Leonardo Castro and Khama Billiat came back to haunt their former side as Kaizer Chiefs thrashed Mamelodi Sundowns 4-2 in the Shell Helix Cup at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
The defending champions made wholesale changes from their regular line-up, with the likes of Aubrey Ngoma, Oupa Manyisa, Tokelo Rantie and Harold Majadibodu gave a run in the starting team.
Meanwhile, Amakhosi did the opposite, after maintaining the core of the team doing duty in the league so far, with Philani Zulu the only new face in the line-up.
Chiefs were in front as early as the eighth minute after Khama Billiat beat the offside trap to go clear on goal, and although his strike came off the post, Leonardo Castro was available to slot home the opener on the rebound.
While Pitso Mosimane’s charges were struggling to combine going forward, Amakhosi had no problems at the other as the second goal arrived in the 31st minute, as Castro grabbed his brace with another tap-in into a gaping net after Billiat’s initial strike was palmed into the path of the Colombian by Pieterse.
Sundowns were going forward in numbers in the closing stages of the half looking to get back to the game, but it was Chiefs who grabbed the first goal in the first minute of first-half stoppage, as Castro completed his hat-trick by heading home a corner from Billiat.
The Billiat-Castro combination was at it again moments later as the Zimbabwean international made it 4-0 for Amakhosi shortly thereafter with an acrobatic half-volley after linking up with the Colombian.
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Masandawana were a much-improved side after the break as Mosimane threw in the regulars, with the likes of Tebogo Langerman, Jose Ali Meza and Gaston Sirino getting on to the pitch, and it was Meza who pulled a goal back on the hour mark with a simple tap-in at the back post after shot-stopper Daniel Akpeyi was unable to hold on to Sirino’s shot.
Sundowns nearly pulled back another goal in the 73rd minute after Meza latched onto flicked header at the back post but his half-volley hit the side-netting before Akpeyi denied the Brazilians the second goal moments thereafter with a brilliant save to deny a certain own goal.
The game was stretching from end to end in the closing phase and late substitute Keletso Sifama almost got the fifth goal for Chiefs after breaking away on the left side of the box but his curling strike missed the bottom post by a whisker.
In the latter stages, Sundowns were awarded a penalty after Lyle Lakay went down under the challenge of Kgotso Moleko, which allowed Sirino to step up to make it 4-2, but it was too little too late as Amakhosi claimed the cup for the first time.
Here’s how they lined up:
Chiefs: Akpeyi, Sasman, Cardoso, Blom, Zulu, Katsande, Baccus, Manyama, Zuma, Billiat, Castro.
Subs: Bvuma, Moleko, Gordinho, Mphahlele, Matsheke, Ntshangase, Mahlasela, Kotei, Radbe, Lesako, Parker, Twala, Sifama, Gqezenele.
Sundowns: Pieterse, Majadibudo, Lakay, Arendse, Coetzee, Seabi, Jali, Manyisa, Mkhulise, Ngoma, Rantie.
Subs: Mweene, Ngcobo, Ngcongca, Affonso, Mdhluli, Langerman, Kekana, Sirino, Lukhubeni, Mkhuma, Meza, Vilakazi.
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Source – SoccerLaduma