Kaizer Chiefs suffered another blow to their trophy aspirations as they bowed out of the Nedbank Cup following a disappointing defeat to Milford FC.

Despite the setback, head coach Cavin Johnson found a silver lining in the performance of debutant Mfundo Vilakazi.

The Soweto giants, aiming to end a nine-year trophy drought, were unable to capitalize on their dominance at FNB Stadium on Sunday. Despite controlling the game, Chiefs failed to convert their chances, with Ashley du Preez hitting the crossbar and Ranga Chivaviro missing a crucial penalty in extra time.

Ultimately, the match was decided by penalties, with Milford FC emerging victorious with a 5-4 scoreline. Chiefs’ Edson Castillo failed to convert his penalty, while Milford remained flawless from the spot.

Amidst the disappointment, the spotlight fell on 18-year-old Vilakazi, who made his senior debut as a substitute. Johnson praised the youngster’s performance under pressure, highlighting his composure and potential for the future.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Johnson expressed his admiration for Vilakazi’s contribution, stating, “I thought Mfundo [Vilakazi] came in and did really well… He’s got a bright future with Kaizer Chiefs.”

“Unfortunately, today he was not able to show his real qualities, which I thought would have come if we scored the goal. Then you would have really seen how good he is.”

Despite the early cup exits, Chiefs now turn their focus to the DStv Premiership, where they face Moroka Swallows on Saturday in their pursuit of silverware.

The defeat marks another setback for Chiefs in their quest for glory, but the emergence of promising talents like Vilakazi provides hope for the future amidst the challenges ahead.