Edmore Chirambadare finally broke his duck for South Africa giants Kaizer Chiefs when he netted his first competitive goal in the quarter-final of the Telkom Knockout Cup against Free State Stars.
The goal, however, was in a losing cause as Amakhosi were kicked out of the tournament 5-6 on penalties after 2-2 at the end of extra time at Moses Mabhida in Durban.
But Chirambadare, who had been on the spotlight after the big move from Zimbabwe champions Chicken Inn a few months ago, will have some positives to draw from the game.
The Zimbabwe international arrived in South Africa with a lot of potential, but had not complemented his hard work with goals.
Chirambadare yesterday gave an encouraging response to concerns by his coach Steve Komphela who had revealed ahead of the game that he was getting worried by the prolonged goal drought by his strikers.
Only Michelle Katsvairo has managed to register a league goal this season among the strikers, while the likes of Edward Manqele, Bernard Parker, Lewis Macha and Chirambadare were yet to get off the mark.
The Glamour Boys had not scored in three consecutive matches from open play and have recorded just nine league goals in eight matches this season.
And yesterday, Chirambadare had given Chiefs the lifeline in the 82nd minute after he made the score 1-1 moments after he was thrown into the fray as replacement for Bernard Parker.
Bokang Thlone had taken Stars into control of proceedings with a cracking goal inside nine minutes as Chiefs trailed for long. Thokozani Sekotlong looked to have grabbed the win for Stars in extra-time, but Erick Mathoho brought them level again.
The match was played in torrential rain that made conditions very difficult for the players and the opening stages were characterised by misplaced passes and errors.
But Stars took the lead inside nine minutes with a great piece of skill from Thlone, who cut inside from his left-wing position and placed the ball into the top corner, giving Itumeleng Khune in the Chiefs goal no chance.
Chiefs pushed forward in search of the equaliser and after Michelle Katsvairo saw his effort saved by Thela Ngobeni, they thought they should have had a penalty.
Katsvairo should have equalised midway through the first half when he broke free to find himself one-on-one with Ngobeni, but shot straight at the keeper.
Chiefs continued to press and created a number of half-chances, but failed to find the equaliser before the half-time.
But Chiefs were level with seven minutes to go. Ngobeni could not clear a corner and Chirambadare netted with a bullet into the top corner. The match went into extra-time, but it was Stars who regained the lead as Sekotlong was fed just inside the penalty areas and turned to shoot past Khune.
But Chiefs were level again when Mathoho steered a header from a free-kick past Ngobeni to spare the home side’s blushes.
The shoot-out was filled with drama, but when William Twala missed his spot-kick, Stars booked their place in the next round.
Warriors forward Tendai Ndoro also opened his account in the tournament when he scored in the 2-1 win over Tapiwa Kapini’s Highlands Park and booked a semi-final slot on Saturday.
Pirates took the lead in the 40th minute when another Zimbabwean Augustine Mbara scored an own-goal from Luvuyo Memela’s in-swinging free-kick from the right, heading past his own countryman goalkeeper.
The lead was doubled just before the hour-mark when Ndoro finished at close range following a perfect square-ball from Mpho Makola from the right side of the penalty area. Kickoff.com