23 August 2017
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Páez 66’)
SuperSport United (2) 2 (Modiba 14’, Grobler 45’)
SuperSport United edged Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in a hard-fought battle at FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening. Amakhosi had to play most of the match with only 10 men as Erick Mathoho received a red-card already in the 7th minute. However, despite being one man down, the Glamour Boys displayed a spirited performance.
George Maluleka had recovered from his injury and came in for Keagan Buchanan in comparison with Sunday’s draw against Bloemfontein Celtic. Brilliant Khuzwayo kept goal again in the absence of Itumeleng Khune, who was still suffering from a chest infection. Khune also missed out on the Celtic clash.
The game was not even ten minutes old when defender Mathoho was handed his marching orders by referee Daniel Bennett for bringing down SuperSport’s Bradley Grobler just outside the box.
It was an early set-back for the home side. As a result of the sending off, Steve Komphela had to restructure his defence. The Amakhosi coach decided to bring on Daniel Cardoso for Lorenzo Gordinho, who had a difficult start to the match. Willard Katsande, meanwhile, went to sit a little deeper, helping out a hand in defence, assisting Cardoso.
To make matters worse, the visitors already profited early on from Chiefs having to play with 10 men, as they scored in the 14th minute via a header from Aubrey Modiba.
Thereafter, Matsatsantsa got a few opportunities to extend the lead, but they failed to find the back of the net.
On the other hand, the Glamour Boys didn’t give up and battled hard to create some chances of their own.
And just when it looked that Chiefs would go into the break only a goal down, which would have given them a little boost, SuperSport extended their lead thanks to Bradley Grobler, leaving goalkeeper Khuzwayo no chance.
However, despite the two goals down and playing with one player less than SuperSport, Chiefs kept fighting in the second half and, again, created several goalscoring opportunities.
Komphela brought on William Twala in the 58th minute for Bernard Parker.
There was a good spirit and the chances kept coming for the Glamour Boys. It was eventually Gustavo Páez, who found the back of the net. Right-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele delivered a telling cross from the right, Siphiwe Tshabalala headed the ball towards the Venezuelan striker, who easily finished from close range.
The goal got the crowd going and there was a nice atmosphere in the stadium, with the Amakhosi supporters trying to push the team to get the equaliser.
SuperSport looked on the back foot a few times, but in the end the goal couldn’t be found. As a result, Chiefs lost this season’s first league match at home, despite showing spirit and fighting hard to overcome the early set-back of having to play the majority of the game with one player less than the opponent.
Key moment in the match:
That must be the moment that Erick Mathoho was sent off already in the 7th minute. The ball came deep and high into Kaizer Chiefs’ territory. Lorenzo Gordinho just missed with his head the aerial ball and, instead, SuperSport United’s Bradley Grobler pounced on it. He looked to go past Mathoho, who brought the striker down outside the box. Referee Daniel Bennett decided that the Chiefs defender was the last man standing before the goalkeeper and gave the lanky defender a straight red-card. Thereafter it was always going to be an even tougher match than a SuperSport clash would normally already be.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
The Absa Premiership Man of the Match was awarded to Teboho Mokoena of the winning side. However, despite the loss, there were some good performances on the Kaizer Chiefs side as well. Right-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele again did well and Gustavo Páez was always a threat for the SuperSport defence. However, as so often, Willard Katsande showed again his tremendous fighting spirit. The Zimbabwean helped out in defence, after Erick Mathoho’s early sent-off, but he also won balls in midfield and even got two opportunities to score.
What it means:
It means that Kaizer Chiefs have now collected one point from two Absa Premiership fixtures played so far. That doesn’t look great, but it’s still early days and the league title race is not a sprint, but a marathon.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khuzwayo; Mphahlele, Mathoho, Gordinho (Cardoso 17’), Masilela (Zulu 24’); Ekstein, Katsande, Maluleka, Tshabalala; Parker, Páez (Twala 58’)
Subs not used: Bvuma, Zuma, Buchanan, Chirambadare
SuperSport United 11: Williams; Kekana, Gould, Daniels, Ritchie; Phala (Nhlapo 88’), Mokoena, Letsholonyane, Modiba; Wome (Brockie 46’), Grobler (Alexander 75’)
Subs not used: Pieterse, Mashamaite, Mbule, Nkhatha
Next Match: Kaizer Chiefs will next play Cape Town City at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday, 13 September (kick-off is at 19:30).