Posted in News on Apr 09, 2001.
Amakhosi supporters have shown little sympathy with the former African Wanderers striker since his move to Chiefs earlier this season. Illodigwe was constantly a target of the boo brigade and the technical staff even placed him on transfer.
But against Cosmos, Illodigwe was a man inspired, playing a crucial role in Amakhosi’s win, which could rekindle their championship hopes.
The Cosmos defence, particularly Andrew Rabutla, had a torrid night trying to contain the threat from the Chiefs arsenal.
Siyabonga Nomvete, who is expected to move overseas next season, gave Chiefs a goal to sweeten their tea at half-time, but for Rabutla it was food for thought.
The tall Cosmos defender fouled midfielder Thabo Mooki on the edge of the box, and from the resultant free-kick, Nomvete was on target to head home the opening goal seven minutes before the break.
Chiefs almost increased the score two minutes later but Arthur Zwane’s cross failed to find Nomvete.
Cosmos coach Jomo Sono, who was glued to his seat like a man enjoying a detective thriller, introduced Nuro Taulibudine for Sizwe Kubheka in the second half.
Illodigwe was on the rampage once more, and this time he took on the Cosmos defence, and unleashed a powerful shot from an acute angle to increase Chiefs' lead.
Illodigwe made way for Isaac Mabotsa 15 minutes before the end, and this time the striker received tumultuous applause from the Chiefs supporters.
While Cosmos goalkeeper Avril Phali's goal was under constant attack, his opposite number Brian Baloyi had a fairly easy night as the three-man defence of Patrick Mabedi, Lifa Gqosha and Cyril Nzama kept a watchful eye on his goal.
Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral introduced veteran midfield playmaker Doctor Khumalo in the 63rd minute in place of injured Zwane.
This fixture in the first round saw Cosmos running away with an upset 2-1 win over Amakhosi in Rustenburg and three players, two from Chiefs, were sent off in that ill-tempered match.
Chiefs now move to fourth place with 47 points but their character and championship mettle will be tested next Wednesday when they meet high-riding Orlando Pirates in the Soweto Derby at the same venue.