16 December 2017
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Zuma 85’)
Ajax Cape Town 0
Kaizer Chiefs beat Ajax Cape Town 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night. The Glamour Boys completely dominated the game, despite the sole goal only arriving in the 85th minute thanks to Dumsani Zuma’s match-winner.
Coach Steve Komphela made five changes to the starting line-up compared to the 1-0 win over Platinum Stars last week.
Two of the changes, however, were due to the fact that Willard Katsande and Joseph Molangoane were suspended. They were replaced by Wiseman Meyiwa and Kgotso Moleko, who had recovered from injury.
Siphiwe Tshabalala, Hendrick Ekstein and Bernard Parker all returned to the starting XI, coming in for Bhongolethu Jayiya, Dumsani Zuma and Gustavo Páez.
Chiefs started their home game well, attacking at will. However, there was an early set-back when Philani Zulu got injured, a thigh problem, and had to be replaced by Khotso Malope.
The home side dominated most of the first half, but couldn’t find the back of the net, despite creating numerous goalscoring opportunities to do so.
Parker did well up-front, keeping the Ajax defenders busy, while George Maluleka worked hard in midfield.
Amakhosi had about 65% of ball possession in the first half, which clearly showed the way it took control of the game.
However, no goals were scored when half-time arrived.
The second half was more of the same with Chiefs being in control of the match. But there was another set-back in the 52nd minute when Parker had to be taken off due to a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Gustavo Páez.
There was another great opportunity to open the score by Teenage Hadebe, but his head didn’t connect well with the ball and it flew past the wrong side of the goalpost.
On the other hand, Ajax never got any real goalscoring opportunities. The three Amakhosi centre-backs did well, including Siyabonga Ngezana, Daniel Cardoso and Teenage Hadebe.
The problem was not so much creating chances, as Chiefs did in numbers, but to get the ball on target.
The Glamour Boys, however, continued to push moving forward and putting the Ajax defence under pressure.
It finally led to the well-deserved goal in the 85th minute. George Maluleka passed the ball deep to Páez, who was heavily challenged by the Ajax defenders. That’s when the ball landed in front of Dumsani Zuma, who had come on in the 74th minute. He moved into the box and finished beautifully, putting the ball into the far corner from the right side of goal.
It was Zuma’s first goal for Chiefs since joining at the beginning of the season. It was certainly a crucial one.
Shortly thereafter Hendrick Ekstein had an opportunity to double the score, but he didn’t succeed to do so.
It was overall a fine performance from the Glamour Boys, who deservedly took the three points.
Key moment in the match:
A key moment was probably the injury to Philani Zulu, who had been in excellent form in recent times, often contributing a lot in attack and delivering some telling crosses into the box. However, the left-back had to be replaced in the 10th minute due to a thigh injury.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Bernard Parker did well before he got injured, while Siphiwe Tshabalala also showed fine form, but it was substitute Dumsani Zuma who scored the crucial match-winning goal. On the other hand, Daniel Cardoso was solid, organising the defence excellently. However, it was eventually Siyabonga Ngezana who was selected as the Absa Premiership Man of the Match.
What it means:
Amahosi are now in second spot on the Absa Premiership log, having collected 22 points from 15 matches.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Ngezana, Cardoso, Hadebe; Moleko (Zuma 74’), Meyiwa, Maluleka, Ekstein, Zulu (Malope 10’); Tshabalala, Parker (Páez 52’)
Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Mathoho, Mphahlele, Jayiya
Ajax Cape Town 11: February; Kammies, Nhlapo, Booysen, Lebusa; Mosadi, Pietersen, Mdabuka (Sait 70’), Mzwakali (George 70’), Nemukondeni (Isaacs 88’); Morris
Subs not used: Petersen, Losper, Sasman, Ouattara
Kaizer Chiefs will next play SuperSport United in an Absa Premiership on the road at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday, 6 January 2018. Kick-off is at 18:00.