22 November 2017
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu played to a goalless draw in an Absa Premiership encounter at Umlazi’s King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday evening. It was an entertaining match in which the home side had the better chances in the second half, while Amakhosi definitely had the upper hand in the second half.
Teenage Hadebe was given his debut by coach Steve Komphela. The Zimbabwean defender had been struggling with an injury for the last few months, but he was recently declared fully fit again. He relegated Erick Mathoho to the bench.
Hendrick Ekstein and Gustavo Páez returned to the starting line-up, replacing respectively the suspended Wiseman Meyiwa and Siphiwe Tshabalala, who started the game on the bench.
There was heavy rain before the match kicked off, which made the pitch very heavy.
AmaZulu started well, putting early pressure on Amakhosi’s defence. It resulted in a few good goalscoring opportunities for the home side. Itumeleng Khune, however, was again in brilliant form, blocking numerous shots at goal from ending up in the back of the net.
Slowly, the Glamour Boys got more into the game, having some good combinations going forward during the second part of the first half.
Especially Gustavo Páez looked dangerous thanks to his excellent off-the-ball runs. He was even somewhat unlucky to be flagged offside by the linesman, as it looked the Venezuelan striker was through – it didn’t look offside when Páez went one-on-one with the AmaZulu goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, it continued to rain, which was not very conducive for good combination play, which is Amakhosi’s preferred style going forward.
Chiefs started somewhat better in the second half, even though it didn’t result in many chances to open the score.
Instead, it was AmaZulu that got a penalty in the 54th minute when Siyabonga Ngezana was adjudged by referee Luxulo Badi to have handled the ball with his hand. But it was again Khune who showed why he’s the best goalkeeper in South African soccer, stopping Rhulani Manzini’s shot with his feet.
More and more Amakhosi started to build up pressure on the defence of the home side. Tshabalala came on for Ekstein in the 66th minute and the veteran helped Chiefs get some momentum going forward.
Bernard Parker came close to scoring with a shot from the edge of the box, but the AmaZulu goalkeeper made a fine save.
Chiefs continued to put pressure and there was another goalscoring opportunity for Páez in the 83rd minute from inside the box, but the Venezuelan failed to hit the target.
AmaZulu’s Phumlani Gumede was sent off after having received his second yellow card.
Tshabalala looked set to score the winner in the 91st minute, but he lost a bit control of the ball. On the other hand, the AmaZulu goalkeeper came out with force and it looked as if he brought down ‘Shabba’ in the box, but the referee decided otherwise.
It was a much improved performance for the Glamour Boys in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to get the much-needed three points.
Key moment in the match:
That was probably the missed penalty kick from AmaZulu. Itumeleng Khune made a fabulous save, using his feet to block the ball from going into the goal.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Itumeleng Khune. The goalkeeper not only kept numerous AmaZulu chances from going into the goal, but he also excellently saved a penalty. ‘Itu’ had clearly decided that it was time again to have a clean sheet. He was deservedly handed over the Absa Premiership Man of the Match award.
What it means:
It means that Amakhosi are now in sixth spot on the Absa Premiership log, having collected 15 points from 11 matches.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Hadebe, Cardoso, Ngezana; Molangoane, Katsande, Maluleka, Ekstein (Tshabalala 66’), Zulu; Páez (Zuma 83’), Parker (Jayiya 88’)
Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Gordinho, Mathoho, Malope
AmaZulu 11: Pule; Sikhakhane, Mbongeni Gumede, Phumlani Gumede, Mtsweni; Ncobeni (Karuru 60’), Morton, Ncube, Mnguni; Cele (Darpoh 90’), Manzini (Ntsundwana 81’)
Subs not used: Mbatha, Mngqibisa, Dlamini, Khenyeza
Kaizer Chiefs host Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership fixture at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, 25 November. Kick-off is at 18:00.