FREE State Stars advanced to the 2016 Telkom Knockout Cup semifinals after beating Kaizer Chiefs 6-5 on penalties this afternoon.
Amakhosi had to fight back to hold Ea Lla Koto to a 2-2 stalemate in the quarterfinal clash played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
Stars made their intentions clear four minutes into game when Danny Venter’s long range effort was pushed away by Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.
However, the Amakhosi captain was beaten six minutes later by Bokang Thlone who cut inside and curled in his great effort to make it 1-0 to Stars.
Chiefs then piled the pressure on the Stars defence, but they were denied by Thela Ngobeni in the Ea Lla Koto goal-posts twice before the break.
New Amakhosi forward Mitchell Katsvairo broke clear in the 25th minute, but Ngobeni pulled off a brilliant save to to deny the Zimbabwean attacker.
Ngobeni, who is a former Chiefs shot-stopper, was having a great first half as he also denied three Amakhosi attackers on the half-hour mark.
The home side were seeing a lot of the ball and pushing more men forward. However, Stars stood firm at the back until the referee blew the halftime whistle.
Ngobeni continued his brilliance seven minutes into the second half as he pushed Siphiwe Tshabalala’s header over the crossbar from close range.
In the 59th minute, Tshabalala’s beautiful cross found Katsvairo in the Stars box, but once again Ngobeni produced a magnificent save to deny Chiefs a goal.
With his side trailing 1-0, Chiefs head coach Steve Komphela introduced Edmore Chirambadare for Bernard Parker with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Khune was called into action in the 80th minute following a quick counter attack by Stars, but the shot-stopper parried away Venter’s shot from range.
Nevertheless, Chiefs did snatch a late equaliser three minutes later through Chirambadare whose powerful shot beat Ngobeni to make it 1-1 and the match went into extra-time.
It took only eight minutes for Thokozani Sekotlong to restore Stars’ lead in extra-time as he fired past Khune to make it 2-1 with Goodman Dlamini grabbing an assist.
However, Erick Mathoho headed home Willard Katsande’s free-kick to make it 2-2 for Chiefs three minutes into the second-half of extra-time and ultimately, the two teams went to penalty kicks.
Ngobeni proved to be the hero for Stars as he saved two penalties to ensure that his side won 6-5 on the day.
Chiefs (0) 2 (Chirambadare 83′, Mathoho 108′)
FS Stars (1) 2 (Thlone 9′, Sekotlong 98′)
Chiefs: Khune, Mphahlele (Twala 60′), Gordinho, Cardoso, Mathoho, Masilela (Khumalo 63′), Tshabalala, Katsande, Maluleka, Katsvairo, Parker (Chirambadare 70′).
FS Stars: Ngobeni, Mbhele, Masehe (Booysen 46′), Nkausu, Thlone (Ella 90′), Mobbie (Mashego 74′), Dlamini, Vilakazi, Venter, Sekotlong, Sekola. – SuperSport