Kaizer Chiefs reach maiden Caf Champions League quarterfinals

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Kaizer Chiefs have reached the quarterfinals of the Caf Champions League for the first time in their history. This after 2-all draw away to a Guinea club, Horoya Athletic Club, on Saturday evening.  

Amakhosi put up a formidable fight to advance to the Last 8 of the tournament having had to come back from behind twice in Conakry.  

Horoya opened the scoring late in the first half through a header by striker Yakhouba Barry taking the home side into the halftime with an advantage.  

However, the lead was cancelled out 21 minutes into the second half when Daniel Cardoso scored from the spot after Horoya were penalised for a handball inside the penalty area.

But Amakhosi, who were looking for a draw with goals to advance to the next stage of the tournament, had their celebration cut short when Sekou Camara put the home side back in the lead three minutes later.  

But as it has been the case for Chiefs in the tournament, Amakhosi put up a tenacious fight to come back into the game with a goal from former Mamelodi Sundowns striker, Khama Billiat. Substitute Dumisani Zuma provided the assist releasing the important pass to Billiat who tapped the ball from inside the box. 

Chiefs’ fighting spirit was evident from the beginning with a player like Itumeleng Khune stepping up to make some decisive saves which kept the Naturena-based in the match. 

Despite the match ending 2-all, and both sides being tied on 9 points apiece, Amakhosi advance to the quarterfinals on a superior away goal difference. The first leg of the match ended goalless in Johannesburg.  

Wydad Casablanca finished top of Group C with 13 points after their 2-0 victory over bottom-of-the-group Petro de Luanda. 

Chiefs’ showing in the Caf tournament will be Coach Gavin Hunt’s highlight of the season, with Chiefs stumbling through the PSL season back, struggling to break into the top eight bracket on the log. Having made history first by qualifying for the group stages of the tournament for the first time under Hunt, and going now going on to qualify for the last 8, Amakhosi will now fancy their chances of continuing their fairytale progression through the tournament.   

The club’s most successful expedition in Africa was 20 years ago, in 2001, when they lifted the African Winners’ Cup, popularly known as Mandela Cup, and were voted the African Club of the Year.