17 MaRCH 2018
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu played to a goalless draw in an Absa Premiership match at FNB Stadium on Saturday evening. After a somewhat slow start in the first half, Amakhosi took control in the second half, getting numerous chances to score. But the ball just didn’t want to hit the back of the net with the draw as the result.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele returned to the starting line-up after having sat out last week’s Nedbank Cup clash against Stellenbosch FC due to suspension.
The two sides tested each other out during the first 15 minutes of the game with neither side creating a goalscoring opportunity.
Slowly, however, Chiefs took control of the match. It nearly resulted in a goal in the 33rd minute when Teenage Hadebe excellently headed the ball on goal from a set-piece. But AmaZulu’s goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro was alert, brilliantly pushing the ball to the side in a reflex save.
Amakhosi kept it tight at the back, although AmaZulu did nearly score in the 39th minute, but that was from a cracking long distance shot from Siyathemba Mnguni. The ball looked to swerve into the top corner, before it ended up just a little wide of the post to the relief of Itumeleng Khune.
Siphiwe Tshabalala did well in midfield, passing the ball around nicely, while Willard Katsande was his usual self, fighting for every ball in the middle of the park.
Joseph Molangoane also showed some nice touches on the ball on his 30th birthday.
Coach Steve Komphela decided to make an early change in the second half to boost the attack, bringing on Hendrick Ekstein for Wiseman Meyiwa. This was followed a few minutes later by another substitution when Ryan Moon was brought on for Bernard Parker.
The changes did help Chiefs to go forward with more urgency, which resulted in two opportunities for Leonardo Castro and Siphiwe Tshabalala. The last was from a free-kick. Sadly, the ball swerved straight into the hands of the AmaZulu goalkeeper.
On the other end of the pitch, however, there was also a fine chance for Usuthu with Ovidy Karuru nearly scoring against his former team from close range. A few minutes, Khune made a brilliant save to deny Mnguni from scoring.
The second half was certainly much better to watch.
There was another chance for Moon in the 65th minute, but his header disappeared just past the wrong side of the post.
However, the pressure was building on the AmaZulu defence, even though the Durban-based side countered well at times.
There was a nice atmosphere at the FNB Stadium with the supporters often loudly supporting their team.
Chiefs kept on pushing. Moon showed fine form after coming on, hence also his call-up for the Bafana Bafana squad earlier this week. Daniel Cardoso, meanwhile, did well leading the defence. The 29-year-old has also been selected to do duty for the South Africa national team during the upcoming FIFA-break as well as Itumeleng Khune and Ramahlwe Mphahlele.
Despite the much improved performance in the second half, which resulted in numerous goalscoring opportunities, Amakhosi couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net.
Key moment in the match:
There were a lot of moments when Kaizer Chiefs had an opportunity to score, but the key moment was probably the header from Teenage Hadebe in the first half. The header was well directed and it looked like a certain goal until the AmaZulu goalkeeper stretched himself to make a miraculous save, keeping the ball somehow out of the goal.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Itumeleng Khune was again superb in goal, while Willard Katsande worked his socks off in his customary central midfield role, winning numerous balls. Daniel Cardoso again led his defence well, but it was AmaZulu midfielder Siyethemba Mnguni who was selected as the Absa Premiership Man of the Match.
What it means:
The draw means that Kaizer Chiefs are still in fifth position on the Absa Premiership log, having collected 36 points from 24 games. That’s seven points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. The Brazilians, however, have a game in hand.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Mphahlele, Cardoso, Hadebe; Molangoane, Katsande, Meyiwa (Ekstein 49’), Tshabalala, Zulu (Ntshangase 65’); Parker (Moon 52’), Castro
Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Mathoho, Jayiya, Zuma
AmaZulu 11: Murambadoro; M. Gumede, P. Gumede (Nyongo 85’), Ouro-Akoriko, Mabiliso (Lumkwana 76’); Ncube, Cele, Sikhakhane; Khenyeza (Ncobeni 68’), Mnguni, Karuru
Subs not used: Pule, Ramphele, Abraw, Nomvethe
There will now be a FIFA-break after which Kaizer Chiefs will host Baroka FC in a Nedbank Cup quarterfinal fixture. This match will probably be played in the weekend of 31 March-1 April, but the venue and date have not been announced as yet.