Highly-paid Kaizer Chiefs stars struggle to overcome amateurs

Johannesburg (AFP) – Kaizer Chiefs’ millionaires were taken to extra time on Sunday by The Magic’s part-timers before securing a flattering 3-0 victory in a South African FA Cup last-16 tie.    

It took the Soweto club, who have won the premier knockout competition a record 13 times, 107 minutes to break the deadlock in Port Elizabeth. 

Daniel Cardoso converted a penalty to the relief of the mainly Chiefs-supporting crowd and, as the Cape Town amateurs inevitably tired, Philani Zulu and Khama Billiat added goals of their own.

The pre-game media focus was on the financial gap between the clubs with forward Billiat reportedly earning more than four times the monthly 120,000 rand ($8,500) Magic budget.

Chiefs’ training ground car park is full of upscale, high-end cars while the Magic amateurs use public transport to attend training.

It was the second successive round in which Chiefs, without a trophy for more than three years, have battled to overcome third-tier rivals, having edged Tornado via an own goal in a last-32 tie.    

“My boys were amazing,” boasted Magic owner and technical director and former South Africa striker George Dearnaley. “The scoreline does not do them justice.

“Playing in a (2010) World Cup stadium was quite something given that we are used to crowds of 100 at public park pitches.

– ‘Something special’ –

“I hope this cup tie marks the beginning of something special for the players, who held Chiefs goalless for so long before tiredness set in.”

German Ernst Middendorp did not look like a coach whose side had just won 3-0 to secure a place in the quarter-finals draw in Cape Town this Thursday.

“Our biggest opponents today were ourselves,” he said, clearly unhappy with some of the squandered scoring chances during regular time.

After Ryan Moon had been denied by the woodwork, Colombian Leonardo Castro somehow ballooned a clearcut chance when the least expected of a professional was to have a shot on target.

Zimbabwean Teenage Hadebe was equally guilty soon after, blazing over from close range when a goal seemed inevitable.

“Congratulations to Magic for their spirit and well organised defending, but we did make it very difficult for ourselves,” added Middendorp.

Meanwhile, an own-goal by Ivory Coast-born Jomo Cosmos captain Dahou Ange Lebahi gifted visiting TS Galaxy a 1-0 win in Tembisa on the outskirts of Johannesburg.  

In trying to cut off a cross on 72 minutes, Lebahi managed only to deflect the ball wide of goalkeeper Cyril Chibwe into the corner of the net in the all-second division clash.

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