Kaizer Chiefs (2) 2
Du Preez (p) 11’, Dolly 25’
Stellenbosch FC (0) 1
DStv Premiership at FNB Stadium
First half goals from Ashley Du Preez and Keagan Dolly gave Kaizer Chiefs a 2-1 victory over 10-man Stellenbosch FC at FNB Stadium on Saturday night.
Ibrahim Jabaar pulled a goal back for the visitors, but it was not enough to prevent Amakhosi from recording their first ever home win over their Western Cape opponents and, in turn, their first double over Stellies in a DStv Premiership season.
The victory extends Amakhosi’s winning streak to four matches and keeps them in a three-way tie for second place in the league with Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United, with all three on 40 points and only separated by goal difference.
Chiefs took the lead in the 11th minute when Ashley Du Preez calmly slotted home from the penalty spot against his former team, after he was fouled inside the area by Olwethu Makhanya, who was caught out by the striker’s quick turn.
Stellenbosch were reduced to 10 men five minutes later with the expulsion of goalkeeper, Sage Stephens, who was shown a red card for a deliberate handball to deny an obvious goalscoring opportunity, having charged out of his penalty area to illegally block Dolly’s flick, after the Chiefs skipper had latched onto Samkelo Zwane’s clever ball behind the Stellenbosch backline.
Stellenbosch coach, Steve Barker was forced to withdraw Devin Titus to replace Stephens in goal with 36-year-old Lee Langeveldt.
The numerical advantage allowed Amakhosi to exert even more dominance and it came as no surprise when Dolly doubled the lead on 25 minutes, firing a drive across Langeveldt that took a slight deflection before nestling in the net.
Chiefs attacked at will as Stellenbosch scrambled to keep their rampant opponents at bay. Mduduzi Shabalala, Zwane, Du Preez and Dolly all came close to adding to the tally in one of the most one-sided halves of football in recent memory.
The visitors made more of a fist of it in the second period, surprising Chiefs with a goal out of nothing barely a minute after the restart.
Substitute, Nhlanhla Mgama slipped a through ball into the Amakhosi penalty area and, as the defence stood flat, Jabaar stole in to poke the ball past Brandon Petersen to halve the deficit.
A reshaped and more compact Stellenbosch were more competitive in a second half still dominated by the home side constantly threatening to score a third. Siyabonga Ngezana and Edmilson Dove both headed narrowly over from free kicks and the ever-improving man-of-the-match, Samkelo Zwane, stung the hands of Langeveldt with a ferocious long range drive in a similar fashion to his first-half bullet that forced an awkward parry from Stephens.
As Chiefs coasted towards the final whistle there was one more twist left as Petersen was called upon to produce a fabulous reflex stop from Venezuelan substitute, Juan Carlos Ortiz off the very last kick of the match, a save that was literally worth two precious points.
Speaking afterwards, Amakhosi coach, Arthur Zwane was pleased with the result and plans to keep working on maximising the opportunities they are creating.
He said, “We are going to go back to training and work until we get it right. We keep on making chances and forcing the opposition to make mistakes and we just haven’t been ruthless enough but having said that, we are not going to give up.
“What we needed were the points,” he continued, “and if we can perform like we did in the first half I think we can beat anybody. We took our foot off the pedal a little in the second half. We started slow and gave them hope. Then, right at the end, a lapse in concentration almost cost us but overall I am happy with the win and we keep on going."
Next up for Amakhosi is a home encounter with Marumo Gallants next Saturday, 8 April at FNB Stadium, kicking off at 20:00.
Chiefs XI: Petersen (1); Hlanti (23), Dove (2), Ngezana (30), Solomons (18), Zwane (37), Sithebe (6), Shabalala (42)(Sekgota (14) 90+1), Dolly © (10) (Matlou (22) 88’), Du Preez (9), Basomboli (21) (Mashiane (19) 73’)
Subs: Khune (32); Nj Ngcobo (27), Kwinika (4), Mahlatsi (5), Duba (36), Bimenyimana (28)
Coach: Arthur Zwane
Stellenbosch XI: Stephens (17); Makhanya (38), Sibande (22)(Basadien (21) 38’), van Rooyen © (7), Nduli (8) (Mgaga (12)45’), Mendieta (10), Sibiya (5) (Ortiz (15) 86’), Jabaar (27), de Jong (18) (Adams (23) 38’), Titus (34) (Langeveldt (35)19’), Rayners (9)
Subs: Mcaba (26), Boji (42), van Wyk (29), Mngomezulu (37)