Kaizer Chiefs survived a late onslaught from Tanzanian outfit Simba SC as they sealed their place in the CAF Champions League semi-finals despite suffering a 3-0 defeat in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.
Chiefs looked relatively comfortable thanks to a 4-0 scoreline in their first leg. However, Simba ensured a nail-biting finish to the CAF clash.
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The opening half-hour of the contest provided plenty of thrills and spills as the two sides traded blows, creating a whole host of chances.
However, despite several chances for both sides, neither managed to hit the target in the opening 20-minute spell.
Simba duo Muzamiru Yassin and Chris Mugalu missed the target with their respective attempts on goal, with the latter going closest as his shot flew narrowly wide of the top-left corner.
At the opposite end of the pitch, Lebogang Manyama and Samir Nurkovic squandered early chances while Leonardo Castro somehow failed to hit the target with a close-range header on 13 minutes.
Nurkovic had another chance to fire Amakhosi in front in the 21st minute but headed wide of the right-hand post from the centre of the danger area.
And Chiefs were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal as Simba went on to claim the lead on 23 minutes, John Bocco latching onto a well-weighted through pass from Clatous Chama before firing past the onrushing Temba Bvuma.
Bocco gave Chiefs a scare just two minutes later as he forced Bvuma into making a save with a shot from the centre of the area.
Two more chances followed for Simba in quick succession, but the first was headed over the bar by Mugalu, while the second chance saw Bvuma deny Chama with a save in the bottom-left corner.
Chiefs eventually posted a noteworthy response a few minutes after the half-hour mark, but Simba keeper Aishi Manula was equal to the task, keeping out Siyabonga Ngezana’s shot in the bottom-right corner.
Simba fashioned one last chance as the half drew to a close, but Luís Miquissone failed to capitalise, firing wide with a shot outside the box.
Chiefs, boasting a 4-0 lead from the first leg, would not have been overly concerned with the state of matters at the half-time break, but that would change in the 56th minute as Simba notched their second of the game, Bocco netting his second of the match with a close-range finish.
But the goalscoring chances began to dry up from that point onwards as Chiefs moved to defend their two-goal aggregate lead to hit Simba on the counter.
Njabulo Blom had one such chance in the 67th minute but failed to keep his composure, firing over the bar from the left side of the box.
Simba remained a threat throughout, though, and they would eventually notch a third goal in the 87th minute, former Orlando Pirates forward Bernard Morrison finding the back of the net to set up a tense finish to the encounter.
However, despite putting themselves in a good position to send the game to extra time, Simba could not break the resistance of a desperate Chiefs defence in the closing stages of the contest.
Luís Miquissone, Chris Mugalu and Mohamed Hussein saw late efforts blocked by the defence as chiefs just about held on to book their place in the CAF Champions League semi-finals.
CAF Champions League semi-finals draw:
Wydad Casablanca (MAR) v Kaizer Chiefs (RSA)
Esperance (TUN) v Al Ahly (EGY, holders)
First legs: 18-19 June, second legs: 25-26 June