Amakhosi held to goalless stalemate by Royal AM
Amakhosi held to goalless stalemate by Royal AM

Posted in Match Report, News, Team News on Feb 18, 2024.

Royal AM (0) 0

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 0

Harry Gwala stadium, Pietermaritzburg

Kaizer Chiefs will feel they deserved more than the one point they gained following a goalless draw against Royal AM in their first DStv Premiership fixture of 2024 at the Harry Gwala stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

Notwithstanding the absence of goals, the thousands of loyal Amakhosi Faithful who braved the grey and damp conditions in the provincial capital of KwaZulu-Natal were treated to an entertaining game between competitive two teams.

Amakhosi came under pressure from the opening whistle as the hosts were quick out of the blocks. However, the Chiefs rearguard held firm in defending their goal, making crucial interceptions and blocks in and around their penalty area., and repelling a series of four corners in quick succession.

Only one was Bruce Bvuma called upon to make a save, which he did in somewhat unconventional fashion with his body to deflect opposition defender, Thabo Matlaba’s swerving 17th minute shot out for a corner.

In the 38th minute Njabulo Ngcobo pulled off a magnificent block tackle on Menzi Masuku, just as the striker was lining up a shot in front of goal.

Despite being largely on the defensive, Amakhosi grew into the game as time progressed and ultimately produced the two best scoring opportunities of the first half. On 24 minutes, Ashley Du Preez stole in behind Royal AM’s high defensive line and was clean through on goal. With only goalkeeper, Hugo Nyame, to beat, the fleet-footed striker tried to scoop the ball over the advancing keeper but unfortunately the ball went narrowly wide of the goal.

Then, in first half stoppage time, Du Preez earned a free kick in a dangerous area. Nkosingiphile Ngcobo struck a fierce shot that Nyame could only parry away and when the ball came back in, S’fiso Hlanti fired a left-footed shot that the Cameroonian goalkeeper was fortunate to deflect onto the post, leaving Thwihli Thwahla fortunate to go into the break level at 0-0.

The second half overwhelmingly belonged to Chiefs, with Bvuma a spectator for almost the entire period, as the men in gold created numerous threats to the Royal AM defence.

Five minutes after the restart, Du Preez went on a mazy run and found Saile in the box, but the Congolese poked the ball just wide, having reached it first ahead of the defender. A couple of minutes later, Reeve Frosler saw his 25 yard drive whizz past Nyame’s upright, as did Saile, who had cut inside from the right to make space for a left-footed shot.

On the hour mark, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo’s perfectly flighted pass found Du Preez’s well-timed run and it took some very sharp goalkeeping from Nyame to deny Amakhosi’s number 9 a certain goal.

Coach Cavin Johnson’s team continued to press for a goal and Edson Castillo and Saile went close as time began to run out.

Bvuma was called into action late on, showcasing his powers of concentration by reflexively parrying Masuku’s close-range effort, before Hlanti cleared the rebound to safety.

In the end, Amakhosi had to settle for a point, which does extend their unbeaten run in the league to four matches and gives them something to build on going forward.

Chiefs sit in 6th place on the DStv Premiership log, with 25 points from 17 matches. Next up is a Soweto Derby against Moroka Swallows on Saturday, 2 March, at FNB stadium.


Kaizer Chiefs: Bvuma (32), Hlanti (23), Nj Ngcobo (27), Msimango (25), Frosler (39), Maart © (8), Castillo (17), Nk Ngcobo (12) (Dolly (10) 64’), Mmodi (13) (Shabalala (42) 71’), Du Preez (9) (Duba (36) 90+2’), Saile Basomboli (21)

Subs not used: Petersen (44); Kwinika (4), Mthethwa (5), Mashiane (19), Vilakazi (28), Gonzalez (14)

Coach: Cavin Johnson

Royal AM: Nyame (16), Mabuza (28), Jiyane (42), Shezi (15), Matlaba (14), Mahlasela © (12), Dlamini (5), Magaqa (26), Masuku (50), Maxwele (48) (Thikazi (34) 71’), Macuphu (9) (Sera (33) 71’)

Subs not used: Mpoto (25); Msomi (2), Mashiane (38), Ndlovu (22), Sithole (44), Sikakane (3), Cele (77)

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