Kaizer Chiefs (0) 2
Hlanti 60’, Du Preez 85’
Royal AM (0) 0
Amakhosi registered a convincing 2-0 against Royal AM at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday to end a three game losing run in the DStv Premiership with an assertive performance to move back into the top five on the log standing. Chiefs pretty much dominated proceedings and sealed the win with second half goals from S’fiso Hlanti and Ashley Du Preez.
In the 5th minute, Mduduzi Shabalala showed good awareness and strength to dispossess Jeffrey Dlamini and, from close to the halfway line, tried an audacious chip over Nyame - who was off his line – only to just miss the target.
Chiefs were forced into an early change when Reeve Frosler, who had collided with teammate Siyabonga Ngezana, could not continue and was substituted by Dillan Solomons.
Five minutes after Shabalala’s chances, Ashley Du Preez managed to latch onto a long ball over the top and was able to evade the challenge of Mthokozisi Dube, who slipped at the opportune moment. The Chiefs forward was able to take a shot which was straight at Hugo Nyame.
Chiefs were playing with a lot of confidence and a quarter of an hour into the game this came to the fore as Siyethemba Sithebe managed to glide into the opposition 18-yard area, playing a quick one two with Cale Bimenyimana,, before driving the ball in from the right. His dangerous effort had Nyame lunging into the air as he dived acrobatically to his right to stop Chiefs from going ahead.
Nyame was again alert to the Chiefs danger in the 21st minute as he reacted quickly to block Bimenyimana’s cleverly attempted backheel from Solomons’ near post cross after a storming run down the right wing by the fullback.
A floodlight failure at the halfway point of the first half saw the players leave the field for almost 20 minutes. When the teams returned to finish the first half they were met by driving rain. The half ended goalless.
Almost straight from the restart, Amakhosi were on the offensive. Bimenyimana flicked the ball towards the onrushing Keagan Dolly who headed the ball forward, beat Nascimento in a sprint and closed in on goal. However, Nyame was on hand to drop to his right and intercept Dolly’s square ball across the box.
Around the 50-minute mark Chiefs managed to create two chances in the space of a minute. Shabalala went wide with a shot from the left while Solomons also sent the ball beyond the Royal AM goal from the opposite end.
All of Amakhosi’s knocking on the door finally paid dividends on the hour. Dolly sent in a delightfully floated free kick from the left, which Hlanti managed to track and climbed up to glance the ball past Nyame and head Chiefs into the lead.
New Chiefs signing from the DR Congo, Christian Saile Basomboli, was a lively figure after entering the field as a second half substitute. In the 81st minute, he managed to nutmeg Nascimento before driving the ball at goal which Nyame was able to stop.
Four minutes later, he made his first goal involvement as a Chiefs player when he managed to get past Thabo Matlaba in a physical duel on the right flank and cross the ball into the danger zone, where Du Preez came sliding in to knock the ball home and give Chiefs a 2-0 lead. Solomons, a substitute himself, was replaced late on after appearing to injure his arm as a result of an awkward fall. Amakhosi played out the remaining time comfortably to register their first goals, and points, of 2023.
Despite a halt in proceedings in the first half, Chiefs’ rhythm and determination remained undisturbed as they dominated the game from the onset and were full value for the win. With a partisan crowd behind them Chiefs were full of life in their alternate home stadium.
The victory also marked a moment of history, Chiefs recording their first league win over Royal AM in what was their fourth league clash against them.
Number of the match 10 – S’fiso Hlanti is the 10th different player to score at least one goal in a league game for Chiefs.
Fact of the match – Keagan Dolly made his third assist of the season when setting up Hlanti for the game opener. He has six goal involvements this season, scoring 3 goals and making 3 assists.
What next – Chiefs are next in action in the DStv Premiership on 5 February, away to TS Galaxy.
Chiefs: Petersen, Hlanti, Dove, Ngezana, Frosler (Solomons 8’) (Zwane 90’), Maart, Sithebe, Shabalala (Nange 74’), Dolly (Sekgota 74’), Du Preez, Bimenyimana (Saile 55’)
Subs not used: Khune, Kwinika, Zwane, Radebe, Duba
Cautions: Hlanti 80’
Coach: Arthur Zwane
Royal AM: Nyame, Dube, Nascimento, Sikakane, Matlaba, Dlamini (Mogaila 72’), Magaqa (Msomi 59’), Mahlasela (Masuku 46’), Mashiane (Potsane 59’), Thikazi ,Macuphu (Sera 72’)
Subs not used: Ngcobo, Lingwati, Pelembe, Gamildien
Co-Coach: Abram Nteo