20 September 2017
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Páez 14’, 60’)
Maritzburg United 0
Kaizer Chiefs didn’t have an easy evening, but the 2-0 win over Maritzburg United was well-deserved. Striker Gutavo Páez scored a brace, with a goal coming in each half.
The young and lively midfielder Khotso Malope was handed his debut wearing the Gold & Black jersey. The 23-year-old is a product of Amakhosi’s youth development structures. He replaced George Maluleka in midfield, who is struggling with a thigh injury.
There was a fantastic atmosphere at Harry Gwala Stadium with Amakhosi supporters singing and dancing throughout the match.
The home side might have had most of the ball possession during the opening stages of the match, but it was Chiefs that was the more dangerous side.
The Venezuelan striker Páez was on song, making some great off-the-ball runs and getting into dangerous areas. His long distance shot in the sixth minute came close, but the ball was well blocked by United’s keeper Richard Ofori from going in goal.
However, there was little the Maritzburg goalkeeper could do in the 14th minute. Siphiwe ‘Shabba’ Tshabalala put a ball through, well-weighted in the run of Bongolethu Jayiya, who shot at goal. The goalie saved, but the ball bounced in front of Páez, who knew how to finish, 1-0.
There was another shot at goal a few minutes later by Malope, but the ball was tipped over the bar by the goalkeeper.
That’s when Maritzburg tried to take control of the match, creating a few goalscoring opportunities, but Itumeleng Khune made some outstanding saves.
Tshabalala did well in and Jayiya was a busy bee in midfield, making some excellent runs into the box.
Just after half-time, ‘Shabba’ had a fine chance to extend the lead, but it wasn’t to be, while Jayiya’s shot at goal was well saved by the Maritzburg goalkeeper.
However, in the end, it was Páez who found the back of the net for the second time, 2-0. It was his third league goal this season.
From there on, the game was basically done. Maritzburg’s spirit looked a bit broken after the second goal, as the side didn’t create too much in the sense of goalscoring chances during the latter stages of the match.
The home side, however, was awarded a bit of a soft penalty by referee Daniel Bennett, but Khune saved Evans Rusike’s spot kick magnificently, diving to his right.
It was a great win for Amakhosi.
Key moment in the match:
That must be the first goal of the game, as that gave Kaizer Chiefs the confidence that it could win the match. It was a good goal as well, with Siphiwe Tshabalala and Bongolethu Jayiya getting involved, before Gustavo Páez found the back of the net.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Gustavo Páez had a fantastic game, scoring two fine goals. However, the Absa Premiership Man of the Match was eventually given to Itumeleng Khune, which was probably the correct decision, as he was simply brilliant, making numerous crucial saves. It was Itu’s third Man of the Match in a row.
What it means:
It means that Kaizer Chiefs are now in fourth position on the Absa Premiership log with eight points from five games. That’s three points behind log leaders Golden Arrows, Baroka FC and Orlando Pirates.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Gordinho, Katsande, Cardoso; Moleko, Malope (Ekstein 71’), Meyiwa (Mathoho 67’), Jayiya (Parker 80’), Zulu; Tshabalala, Páez
Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Chirambadare, Buchanan, Twala
Maritzburg United 11: Ofori; Weidlich (Mokate 78’), Fransman, Xulu; Sanoka (Makaringa 46’), Shandu, Maboe, Atouba, Mekoa; Rusike, Fileccia (Van Wyk 78’)
Subs not used: Barr, Kunene, De Reuck, Saal
Next Match: Kaizer Chiefs now host Golden Arrows in an Absa Premiership match at FNB Stadium on Saturday, 23 September (kick-off is at 20:00).