The left-back produced a Man of the Match performance as he grabbed a brace to help the Soweto club humble their bogey team
Kaizer Chiefs came back to defeat Maritzburg United 2-1 in the MTN8 quarter-final match at FNB Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Yagan Sasman grabbed two quick goals in the closing stages of the match as Gavin Hunt began his era at Amakhosi with a victory.
Amakhosi were hoping to finally beat their bogey team as the Team of Choice were enjoying a three-match unbeaten run against Chiefs.
Maritzburg defeated Chiefs twice in the recent season including a Telkom Knockout Cup clash and the other encounter ended in a draw.
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Chiefs were starting a new 2020/21 season under a new head coach Gavin Hunt, who had to find a way to mastermind a win over the Team of Choice without several key players.
Itumeleng Khune started in goal as expected with Daniel Akpeyi missing due to a passport issue and Lazarous Kambole led the attack with Samir Nurkovic out injured.
On the other hand, Maritzburg were starting life without Ghana’s finest goalkeeper Richard Ofori, who is set to complete a move to Orlando Pirates and Bongani Mpandle started in goal.
Coach Eric Tinkler named an offensive-minded team with three strikers Thabiso Kutumela, Bongani Hlongwane and Judas Moseamedi all starting.
Maritzburg fired the first warning very early into the match when Kutumela forced Khune into a good save at the near post after the Soweto giants’ defence was exposed.
The Team of Choice continued to press Amakhosi and they deservedly took the lead through Kutumela, who beat Khune with a low effort to make it 1-0 to Maritzburg in the 35th minute.
Chiefs tried to respond with a goal, but Mpandle was alert in the visitors’ goal-posts as he produced a fine low save to deny Yagan Sasman.
Maritzburg did not sit back and defend as Khune was forced to come out and block Moseamedi’s dangerous curling cross, before Hlongwane hit the crossbar as pressure mounted on the hosts.
Chiefs were then able to contain Tinkler’s men in the latter stages of the first-half and the score was 1-0 to Maritzburg at the interval.
Hunt introduced Leonardo Castro prior to the start of the second half, but it was Parker, who caused havoc for the Maritzburg defence as the hosts looked to restore parity.
The former FC Twente striker, who was at the heart of every good Chiefs attack, hit the upright with Mpandle well-beaten, before unleashing two powerful shots which narrowly missed the target.
The pressure was mounting on Maritzburg as Njabulo Blom hit the crossbar with a deflected effort and then Chiefs finally levelled matters in the 73rd minute when Sasman netted from Khama Billiat’s corner-kick to make it 1-1.
The goal unsettled the Team of Choice defence and the visitors conceded again two minutes later when Sasman scored from another corner-kick from Billiat to make it 2-1 to Chiefs.
Maritzburg launched late attacks as they looked to snatch a late equalizing goal, but the home side stood firm at the back and ultimately, Chiefs emerged 2-1 winners on the day.
The result sees Chiefs join their arch-rivals Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United in the semi-finals, while Maritzburg bowed out of the tournament.