Stellenbosch FC (0) 0
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 2
(Mmodi 52’, Saile Basomboli 89’)
Athlone Stadium, Cape Town
Second half goals from Pule Mmodi and Christian Saile gave Kaizer Chiefs a well-earned 2-0 victory over Stellenbosch FC in Cape Town on Wednesday evening to catapult them up to fifth spot in the DStv Premiership standings.
A solid performance, a couple of well taken goals and a second clean sheet in succession will have sent the thousands of Amakhosi supporters that crammed into the Athlone Stadium on a chilly evening happy, following a feisty, entertaining encounter.
There was plenty of action, though few chances in a frantic first half in which Amakhosi attempted to get into a passing rhythm and create space for their dangerous wide men, Tebogo Potsane and Mmodi. However, they found Steve Barker’s well-drilled side a tough nut to crack, as the home team hustled and harried their more illustrious opponents all over the pitch and defended stoutly in a deep low block.
Despite the lack of clear scoring opportunities, the sizeable audience was treated to a full-blooded contest between two teams showing no signs of looking ahead to their respective MTN8 semi-finals this coming weekend. Amakhosi showed further evidence of their style coming together, with Yusuf Maart settling in well with his new midfield colleagues, Mdu Mdantsane and Edson Castillo, while Potsane linked nicely with Reeve Frosler down the left and Ashley Du Preez tussled for supremacy with his cousin, Deano Van Rooyen.
The only clear sight of goal fell to Devan Titus in the 33rd minute, but Brandon Petersen pulled off a sharp save to keep the scoreline goalless going into the break.
Amakhosi began the second half more purposefully and, seven minutes in Mmodi embarked on a driving run upfield, played a neat one-two with Mdantsane and then struck a ferocious shot from all of 25 yards out that gave Sage Stephens in the Stellies goal no chance as it speared into the net.
Things got worse for the hosts a few minutes later when Titus received his marching orders from referee, Thando Ndzandzeka, for a second bookable offence, following dangerous tackles on Frosler and then Given Msimango.
The 10 men of Stellenbosch were up against it but managed to craft a half chance for Iqraam Rayners, but again Petersen’s cat-like reflexes thwarted his effort.
Msimango had recovered sufficiently to go close with a header from a pin-point free kick by substitute Mduduzi Shabalala, as Chiefs began to turn the screws on their tiring opponents.
It was from another perfectly flighted free kick from Shabalala that Amakhosi secured the points in the 89th minute. This time, fellow replacement, Saile ghosted in at the far post to nod the ball home to the delight of the fans behind the goal.
The manner of the win will please coach Molefi Ntseki, as the team had to dig deep at times before their class shone through, and will reaffirm their belief and confidence going into Saturday’s MTN8 semi-final first leg against Sundowns.
Kaizer Chiefs: Petersen © (1), Frosler (39), Ditlhokwe (24), Msimango (25), Kwinika (4) (Solomons (18) 90+1), Maart (8) (Zwane (37) 76’), Castillo (17), Mdantsane (3) (Matlou (22) 64’), Potsane (11) (Saile Basomboli (21) 64’), Mmodi (13), Du Preez (9) (Shabalala (42) 76’)
Subs not used: Khune (32); Nj Ngcobo (27), Mashiane (19), , Radebe (33),
Coach: Molefi Ntseki
Stellenbosch FC: Stephens (17); Toure (45), Basadien (21), van Rooyen (7) (Sibande (22) 87’), Mthethwa (6), Moloisane (24)( van Wyk (29) 70’), Adams (23), Palace (28) (Mgaga (10) 70’) De Jong (18) (Sekgota (20) 70’), Titus (34), Rayners (9) Boji (19) 90+1)
Subs not used: Masuluke (30); Jurgens (27), Nduli (8), Oura (14),
Coach: Steve Barker