Matsatsantsa’s goalkeeper pulled off a penalty save in extra time and another in the penalty shootout, won 5-3 by the team from Pretoria.
Jeremy Brockie weighed in too, with a 72nd minute opening goal to put SuperSport ahead, and the winning penalty in the shootout.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele had equalised for Chiefs in the 81st to send the game to extra time at 1-1, where Pieterse denied Bernard Parker’s penalty to maintain that scoreline.
SuperSport, having effectively had their league title chances wiped out in the past fortnight, now still have a chance for a trophy in 2016-17.
Chiefs have the league to play for if coach Steve Komphela to forego a second season without silverware.
Tight defending and circumspect attacking made for a 35 minutes where neither goalkeeper was tested.
One has to compare SuperSport’s schedule – losing twice in the league against Mamelodi Sundowns, 5-0 last Thursday and 1-0 on Wednesday, on either side of a 38-hour return trip to Liberia to beat Barrack Young Controllers 5-0 – to Chiefs’.
Amakhosi had a free week to prepare following their 1-0 Premier Soccer League (PSL) win against Chippa United here.
Still, Komphela knows the football of SuperSport coach Stuart Baxter, the one-time Bafana Bafana head coach he assisted, about as well as any other coach’s.
Wary of Matsatsantsa’s counter-attack, Chiefs were cautious in attack, taking a lot of passes to go forward in a sort of poor man’s tiki-taka, though without an end product due to a wariness to commit numbers forward.
SuperSport found their quick transitions stifled.
Matsatsantsa did find a way to open Chiefs in the 37th, Reneilwe Letsholonyane lifting an attempted finish. Then Thuso Phala outstripped Lorenzo Gordinho to shoot at Itumeleng Khune.
The suffocation of open spaces had been broken at the end of the first half and the match had some life breathed into it the second.
A fine chip from midfield by Willard Katsande picked out Joseph Molangoane, who slid a pass inside to Parker, who steered inches wide.
The best chance to that point came from one of SuperSport’s direct attacks in a sweeping move down the left flank where Phala fed Letsholonyane, who fed Thabo Mnyamane, who struck at Khune.
SuperSport’s directness was starting to hurt Chiefs, as, Brockie’s header from Phala’s cross was only denied by a world-class Khune stretch.
But from that corner Mnyamane found Brockie on the edge of the area to hit first time and low past Chiefs’ keeper.
Komphela introduced the fresh legs of Gustavo Paez and William Twala for George Lebese and Sibusiso Khumalo, and went for broke with three at the back.
Twala soon produced the skill and cross from the left that Mphahlele headed home at the far post, though with what seemed a foul by Chiefs’ right-back on Onismor Bhasera.
In extra time, Pieterse stopped Parker’s spot-kick after Dean Furman misjudged Twala’s cross and handled.
In the shootout, Mandla Masango, Furman, Clayton Daniels, Teboho Mokoena and Brockie were all successful for SuperSport.
For Chiefs, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Gordinho and Molangoane scored. George Maluleka’s kick was saved by Pieterse.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport