Kaizer Chiefs looked like the cup kings of old with a comprehensive second half performance as they eliminated Lamontville Golden Arrows 3-0 in the first round of the Nedbank Cup at Soccer City on Sunday.
Ryann Moon, Bernard Parker and Joseph Molongoane all netted after half-time as Itumeleng Khune made a string of superb saves to win the man of the match award.
For coach Steve Komphela the result will come as more of a relief than as he seeks his first trophy with Chiefs and the cup offers him his best opportunity to finally break his trophy duck in his third, and potentially last, season at Chiefs.
Moon’s quick thinking saw him deflect a powerful cross from Willard Katsande into the net from close range for the opening goal in the 53rd minute.
It kept up a recent sequence of goals for the young striker, now establishing himself in the starting line-up at the club.
Parker, coming on for his first appearance of the year, went around the goalkeeper to double the score in the 81st minute – with Katsande again the provider — and Molongoane finished it off three minutes after that after another returnee, Ramahlwe Mphahlele set up the opportunity with his run down the wing.
Molongoane might have had a fourth but squandered from close range on the stroke of full-time.
But Arrows, despite the emphatic scoreline were not without their chances as Khune made a series of stunning stops, first to deny Jabulani Ndwandwe and then Knox Mutizwa from point blank range.
Arrows suffered an early blow when Kudakwashe Mahachi had to go off early with an ankle injury after landing badly when he came close to scoring on the break, but fluffed his shot into the side netting.
By then Arrows had also seen their debutant Siboniso Conco also go wide after the visitors unlocked the Chiefs defence early.
There were also two legitimate-looking penalty turned down for both sides by referee Thando Ndzandzeka, again bringing into question of what is a handball and what is not.
But for Chiefs it was a good day at the office and for Komphela a step closer to that illusive silverware.
Other Nedbank Cup last 32 results:
Wednesday February 7 2018:
Bidvest Wits 0 -1 Cape Town City
AmaZulu 2 – 2 Mthatha Bucks (AmaZulu won 3-0 on penalties)
Friday February 9 2018:
Cape Town All Stars 0 – 1 Mamelodi Sundowns
Saturday February 10 2018:
Ubuntu Cape Town 3 – 2 Polokwane City
Swallows FC 1 – 3 Maritzburg United (after extra time)
Phiva Young Stars 0 – 2 Chippa United
Steenberg United 3 – 1 Orbit College
Orlando Pirates 2 – 0 Ajax Cape Town
Sunday February 11 2018:
Kaizer Chiefs 3 – 0 Lamontville Golden Arrows
Bloemfontein Celtic 1 – 1 SuperSport United (Celtic win 5-4 won penalties)
Mariveni United 1 – 3 Eastern Cape Bees
Happy Wanderers 0 – 1 Royal Eagles