Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2
Bimenyimana 40, 53
Supersport United (1) 1
At FNB Stadium
Burundian striker Caleb Bimenyimana was Kaizer Chiefs’ goalscoring hero on his first start for Amakhosi, his brace giving Chiefs a fully deserved 2-1 victory over SuperSport United.
Bimenyimana was a lively, energetic and an omnipresent threat for Amakhosi, his goals in either half proving the difference in helping Chiefs overturn a deficit for a sweet and much-needed victory at the Calabash.
Chiefs started slowly, allowing the visitors to get the early ascendancy and the chance to set the tone early on in the game.
And Chiefs would rue that slow start as they went behind in the opening 15 minutes of the game.
Chiefs left back S’fiso Hlanti lost possession looking for a forward pass which was intercepted by Zambian international Gamphani Lungu. The winger passed to Bradley Grobler and continued his run down the right and was found again by a neat Grobler through ball. Lungu squared the ball behind the Chiefs defence for Grant Margeman to finish neatly past Itumeleng Khune from the edge of the box to give Matsatsantsa the lead.
The goal was the wake-up call Chiefs needed to shrug off their early lethargy and they started dictating the game.
In the 27th minute Chiefs created their best chance up to that point, with a brilliant ball from centre back Zitha Kwinika from deep finding Bimenyimana unmarked, the Burundian rising beautifully, but mistiming his free header and putting his effort well wide.
In the 35th minute Kgaogelo Sekgota went on one of his typically mazy runs and after a good bit of interplay with Siyethemba Sithebe, the ball fell to Bimenyimana whose initial shot was saved by SuperSport keeper Ricardo Goss. He then blasted the rebound over the crossbar from a tight angle.
While Amakhosi’s fans appreciated the Burundian’s work rate and big heart, they were bemoaning his lack of finishing in front of goal.
The lanky striker, however, was rewarded for his endeavour and energy in the 40th minute, when he equalised for Chiefs with the most sublime of goals.
Another player making his first Chiefs start, Edmilson Dove, made his way forward down the left flank, finding Sithebe in midfield who in turn found Yusuf Maart, the classy Capetonian exquisitely creating a bit of space for Ashley du Perez down the left wing with a pinpoint pass. The striker sent a low cross into the danger area for Bimenyimana, who forcefully slid the bal home to the delight of the sizeable Amakhosi crowd.
It was a goal Chiefs richly deserved and one that could not have been scored by a more deserving player, with Bimenyimana crowning his debut Chiefs goal with Frenchman Bafetimbi Gomis’ trademark ‘panther walk’ celebration.
Chiefs were now fully in the ascendancy as Maart and Sithebe turned the screws in midfield and looked dangerous whenever they were on the ball.
The teams remained level at the break, but it was Chiefs who would have gone down the tunnel into the changerooms with the spring in their step.
Amakhosi started the second half as they ended the first, on the front foot and in the ascendancy, and it didn’t take them long to take the lead for the first time in the game.
In the 52nd minute a poor goal kick from Goss was intercepted by du Preez. He played the ball to Bimenyimana, who found his strike partner with a beautiful return pass down the right flank. Du Preez squared for Maart, who had made a wonderful run into the box but was pushed and taken out by SuperSport defender Kegan Johannes in the box.
Referee Luxolo Badi initially allowed play to continue to see if Sekgota could convert from the advantage, but when Sekgota’s attempt was stopped on the line by Matsatsantsa captain Onismor Bhasera, the referee eventually pointed to the spot for the earlier foul on Maart.
Johannes protested his innocence, but their was no doubt about the penalty and in fact Johannes was lucky to stay on the pitch after what was definitely a second yellow card offence.
With his confidence high and his tail up, Bimenyimana stepped up to take the important Chiefs penalty, rolling his effort confidently and coolly to the left of Goss to give Amakhosi a deserved lead as the ‘panther walk’ made another appearance.
Just after the hour mark a gorgeous ball over the top from man of the match Maart found du Preez, who squared for Sekgota, who was millimetres away from getting a decisive touch, but the ball was just a bit too quick for the Chiefs winger.
In the 73rd Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane made a double change, bringing on Keagan Dolly for Bimenyimana – who had taken a knock – and fresh legs in Cole Alexander for Sithebe.
In the 87th minute Dove gave away a needless free kick when he fouled SuperSport’s Iqraam Rayners on the edge of the box, but Jamie Webber struck his set piece woefully wide.
With a minute to go Rayners again had a sharp chance to salvage a point, but was let down by a poor first touch.
Two minutes into an allotted four minutes of referee’s optional time, Webber’s corner found an unmarked Thatayoaone Ditlhokwe, with the SuperSport defender heading over the crossbar and spurning a good chance as the visitors desperately scrambled for an equaliser.
There was huge cheer from the home crowd as referee Badi brought proceedings to a close with the shrill blast of his final whistle for a welcome Chiefs win.
Chiefs last came from behind to beat SuperSport in a league game back in September 2015, when they won 4-1 after going behind.
While the goal margin may not have been as great this time round, the result was never in doubt as the home side ran out thoroughly deserving winners.
The maximum points send Chiefs into a more respectable mid table position after a tough start to the season, as coach Zwane and his team head into the international break in far better spirits.
Chiefs XI: Khune © (32); Kwinika (4), Dove (2) [Mathoho (3)], Hlanti (23), Solomons (18), Blom (45), Maart (8), Sithebe (6) [Alexander (17)], Sekgota (14), Du Preez (9), Bimenyimana (28) [Dolly (10)]
Subs not used: Petersen (1); Nj Ngcobo (27), Frosler (39), Mashiane (19), Nange (24), Radebe (33)
Coach: Arthur Zwane
SuperSport XI: Goss (20); Ditlhokwe (6), Hlatswayo (3), Magerman (23), Bhasera © (14), Nhlapo (18), Mbatha (16), Maseko (40), Johannes (37), Grobler (7), Lungu (17)
Subs: Chigova (1); Fleurs (25), Ndlovu (15), Ngoma (11), Webber (12), Sibanyoni (24), Gabuza (13), Rayners (9), Donn (26),
Coach: Gavin Hunt