Bidvest Wits became the first team to book a berth in the final of the 2017 Telkom Knockout Cup following a narrow 1-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Wits restricted Chiefs in the early minutes of the match as they dominated the middle of the park with plenty of numbers behind the ball forcing the visitors to push backwards and play in their own half.
Amr Gamal provided the first real danger of the match as early as the seventh minute after receiving a pass on the right flank. The Egyptian easily dispatched Eric Mathoho with some trickery before unleashing a shot towards goal which Itumeleng Khune punched out for a corner kick.
Chiefs also had half a chance shortly after when a one-two play between Bernard Barker and Philani Zulu found the left back, and afforded a lot of space as he ran towards the Wits defence before opting to take a low shot that went out for a goal kick instead of passing for George Maluleka who was in acres of space.
The home side felt hard done by a decision in the 16th minute when they felt they should have been awarded a penalty after Gamal looked to have been brought down by Mathoho inside the box but referee Victor Gomes waved play on.
Gavin Hunt's outfit continued to frustrate Chiefs as the game progressed making it difficult for the visitors to play their normal game.
On the 23rd minute mark Amakhosi came inches close to taking the lead after a set-piece cross from Siphiwe Tshabalala found Mathoho's header but the ball went high with Darren Keet beaten.
Chiefs were dealt a major blow when youngster Wiseman Meyiwa was shown a straight red card in the 27th minute for stamping on Daine Klate after the veteran midfielder was involved in an aerial clash with Willard Katsande.
Two minutes later the visitors suffered a double blow when Wits capitalized on the one man advantage to go in front. James Keene found himself unmarked in the 18-yard area to head past Khune and give his side a 1-0 lead.
Maluleka tried his luck from range after spotting Keet off his line in the 42nd minute but his shot was too strong, sailing high over the crossbar.
The hosts took a 1-0 lead into the halftime break after what was a high pressured first stanza.
Steve Komphela opted to make a change at the start of the second half, taking off Daniel Cardoso for an attacking option in striker Gustavo Paez.
The Venezuelan made an immediate impact in the 50th minute when he beat the offside trap to latch onto a lobbed ball from Maluleka. Paez looked to cross the ball to an onrushing Tshabalala but the Wits defence cleared the ball for a corner kick.
Despite being a man down, the Glamour Boys looked the livelier of the two teams as they continued to surge forward and creating the better of the chances between the two teams.
In the 54th minute Paez was at it again after receiving a pass from Parker before playing a low cross into the box which was easily gathered by Keet.
Chiefs made another substitution bringing in Dumisani Zuma for Bernard Parker in the 65th minute. The former Bloemfontein Celtic winger was immediately involved in a goal scoring chance after he placed his effort over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Chiefs came close to drawing matters once again after Katsande's goal-bound header in the 71st minute was blocked by Sifiso Hlanti inside the box after a well taken free-kick by Maluleka.
Zuma found himself in another great goalscoring situation in the 73rd minute but was denied by Keet from a one-on-one situation following a good through pass by Tshabalala.
Wits defended in numbers in the latter stages of the encounter as Chiefs continued with their resilience in search of the equalizer.
Zuma had one last chance to bring his side back into the match deep in optional time. He found himself at the edge of the box, looped the ball over Keet who was miles off his line but his shot landed on the crossbar and went out.
The hosts defended desperately and kicked every ball away from the danger zone to hold on to their one goal advantage and book their cup final spot.