Khama Billiat’s goal ties the scores up a 2-2, allowing Chiefs to pip Horoya into second place in Group C
And they are through. Yes, Kaizer Chiefs are through to the knockout stages of the Caf Champions League after holding Horoya to a 2-2 draw away in Guinea on Saturday night.
Both sides finished on nine points in Group C, but Chiefs’ two away goals meant they beat Horoya in a head-to-head match up.
The best part is that Amakhosi showed so much showed character and resilience to come from behind twice to book their slot in the quarterfinals.
It was a difficult game and Chiefs almost lost Erick Mathoho, after he came off the worst in a head collision with a Horoya defender just 10 minutes into the match, and had to play the rest of the game with a bandaged head.
Horoya came close to opening the scoring in the 15th minute with Barry Gnagna’s header sailing just over Itumeleng Khune’s goal. But the keeper looked like he had it covered anyway.
Khune made a good block in the 26th minute to deny the hosts, who were pushing to grab an early lead, which would put their visitors under tremendous pressure. In the 32nd minute, Gnagna had another good chance, but he tried to play it too clever and allowed Amakhosi to regroup at the back.
After that, Horoya camped in the Amakhosi half, and it was chance after chance but they just couldn’t break the defence, and on an odd occasion they managed to, Khune was on hand to deal with the danger.
But it was a matter of time before Horoya would get it right and it happened in the 45th minute, with Gnagna sending his header from a corner kick beyond Khune’s reach to give the home side an advantage going into the half time break.
It was still all Horoya after the break, and Mandela Ocansey should have done better with his chance in the 48th minute when he had only Khune to beat, but ballooned his shot over.
Chiefs were lucky not to have a penalty awarded against them after Daniel Cardoso looked to have felled Boniface Haba inside the box, leading to some heated altercations between both sets of players.
Chiefs started finding some rhythm and were awarded a penalty in the 65th minute after a Horoya defender handled the ball as he tried to disposes Dumisani Zuma, who had just come on and was proving to be a handful. Daniel Cardoso fired the penalty into the roof of the net.
Just as Amakhosi were thinking they could cause an upset, they were immediately caught at the back as they could npt defend from a corner and Fode Camara nodded past Khune to make it 2-1, and leave Chiefs with all to do again.
But it didn’t take the Naturena side long to find an equaliser with, Zuma setting up Khama Billiat nicely inside the Horoya box, and the latter made no mistake and made it 2-2.
Horoya tried for another goal, but Khune pulled off some signature saves to ensure Chiefs took their place as one of the top eight sides on the continent.