Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2
Hlanti 9’, Shabalala 47’
Lamontville Golden Arrows (1) 3
Makhubela 45+1’, Mutizwa 69’, 79’
At Peter Mokaba stadium, Polokwane
Kaizer Chiefs fell to 3-2 defeat against Golden Arrows on Sunday in a match they ought to have won comfortably had they converted the plethora of chances they created during the match.
Twice Chiefs led, through S’fiso Hlanti and Mdu Shabalala, but were pegged back each time through goals by Ntsako Makhubela and Knox Mutizwa, before the Zimbabwean striker netted the winner for the visitors.
Playing in front of another big crowd at their alternate home ground, Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Amakhosi, got off to a flying start when Hlanti headed Keagan Dolly’s pin-point corner firmly past Arrows goalkeeper, Siyabonga Mbatha after only 8 minutes.
Looking the sharper of the two sides, Amakhosi harried their opponents all over the pitch, winning the ball and capitalising on the transition to threaten Abafana Bes’thende frequently.
Dolly was desperately unlucky not to double the lead after 16 minutes when he brilliantly controlled Hlanti’s long ball and deftly chipped it over Mbatha, only to see it rebound off the inside of the upright.
A few minutes later, Siyethemba Sithebe struck a fierce effort from range that narrowly missed the target.
It took 23 minutes for Arrows to mount a meaningful attack and even then, Brandon Petersen saved comfortably from Mutizwa.
On the half-hour mark, Christian Saile turned neatly in the box and forced a near post block from Mbatha.
Then in first-half added time, Divine Lunga’s cross into the Chiefs danger zone was shielded by Mutizwa, allowing Makhubela the tiniest of gaps to ram the ball past Petersen into the net.
It was a cruel blow for Chiefs to go into the break level after being so dominant.
Coach Zwane’s half-time team talk must have had the desired effect because Amakhosi began the second period with determined intensity.
Almost from the whistle, Yusuf Maart broke behind the Arrows defence but shot wide. A minute later, Mdu Shabalala made no mistake, taking Du Preez’s pass and shifting it away from his marker before rifling the ball spectacularly into the roof of the net to restore Amakhosi’s lead.
On a rare Arrows foray forward, Petersen again proved equal to the task with a smart save with his feet from Siyabonga Khumalo’s shot.
At that stage, though, Chiefs threatened to put the game to bed as chances continued to flow. Mbatha needed to pull off an excellent reflex save to deny Saile and Hlanti went close moments later. Shabalala almost managed his second of the game, after creating space with another clever turn but his shot flew just the wrong side of the frame.
Golden Arrows drew level for the second time in the 70thminute when Hlanti’s clearing header reached Khumalo, who slid the ball through to Mutizwa to slot past Petersen.
The equaliser gave the visitors confidence and they completed their comeback 10 minutes later courtesy of Mutizwa’s second, this time latching onto a half-cleared Makhubela cross to beat Petersen from just inside the penalty area.
Amakhosi tried manfully to get something out of a game they did enough to win, but time ran out and Arrows will return to Durban with all three points.
After the match, coach Arthur Zwane bemoaned his team’s inability to convert opportunities into goals.
“We gave the game away,” he said frankly. “Look at the number of chances we created and look at how we conceded the goals. We were flat. We played in patches, but whenever we managed to beat the first line of confrontation and went forward, we looked dangerous. But we did not take our chances and we could have defended better. We created enough chances to win this game but I can’t fault the performance of the boys.”
With next week’s Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates looming large, Zwane said, “Look, it is never nice to go into this type of game after a loss like this one, where you know you could have done better, but we are encouraged by knowing we can play better.”
Chiefs XI: Petersen (1); Hlanti (23), Dube (29), Ngezana (30), Kwinika (4), Maart (8), Sithebe (6), Shabalala (42)(Nange (24) 67’), Dolly © (10) (Mashiane (19) 83’), Du Preez (9) (Sekgota (14) 76’), Saile Basomboli (21) (Bimenyimana (28) 68’)
Subs: Khune (32); Nj Ngcobo (27), Zwane (37, Matlou (22), Duba (36),
Coach: Arthur Zwane
Arrows XI: Mbatha (28), Hlatshwayo (22), Mantshiyane (35), Lunga (3), Ndlovu (37), Dube (23) (Khumalo (4) 33’), Ndwandwe (12), Mmodi (13), Makhubela (8), Sibiya (11)(Moon (9) 60’), Mutizwa © (18)
Subs: Gumede (32), Magawana (7), Gumbi (2), Mjengu (29), Cele (30), Fikizolo (34), Magubane (26)
Coaches: Vusimuzi Vilakazi and Mabhudi Khenyeza