Struggling Kaizer Chiefs suffered stunning Cup loss

Edmilson Dove of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Siphosethu Ndlabi of Milford during the 2024 Nedbank Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Milford City at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on the 25 February 2024. BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs’ hopes of ending a nine-season trophy-less run suffered a huge blow on Sunday when they were eliminated from the South African FA Cup by lowly second-tier side Milford.

The first round match at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg ended 0-0 after extra time and the lower league outfit won 5-4 on penalties.

Goalkeeper S’phamandla Hleza was the hero for Milford, who are only two points above the relegation zone in the national second division, having won just five of 19 matches.

He saved an extra-time penalty from Ranga Chivaviro, then sent opposite number Bruce Bvuma the wrong way to score the penalty shootout winner after Venezuelan Edson Castillo missed for Chiefs.

“We were able to plan thoroughly for Chiefs because we watch them on TV every week. We concentrated on our style, which is to play from the back,” Hleza told reporters.

The stunning loss is certain to increase pressure of caretaker coach Cavin Johnson as Chiefs have been eliminated from all three knockout competitions this season, twice in the first round.

A club that has won a record 53 domestic trophies since its 1970 launch, trail league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by 14 points entering the second half of the season having played two games more.

But despite the dismal run, Chiefs remain by far the most popular football club in the country, ahead of arch rivals Orlando Pirates and Sundowns, according to surveys among supporters.

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