Castro and Ekstein guide Chiefs to victory

9 January 2019

Kaizer Chiefs                               (0) 2 (Castro 58’, Ekstein 78’)

Bidvest Wits                                       0  

Kaizer Chiefs easily beat log leaders Bidvest Wits 2-0 in an enthralling Absa Premiership game at Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday evening. The goals were scored by Leonardo Castro and Hendrick Ekstein, both in the second half.

The first half was a tough affair with both teams struggling to get any real goalscoring opportunities.

George Maluleka captained the side in the absence of Itumeleng Khune and Willard Katsande, who were both out injured.

Maluleka did well in his holding midfield role, keeping it tight in front of the defence.

Hendrick Ekstein had some nice actions going forward, even though he couldn’t find that killer pass to one of the strikers in the first half.

It all meant that Leonardo Castro was at times a bit on his own up-front.

Defensively, however, the Glamour Boys had everything under control with Mario Booysen and Daniel Cardoso keeping it tight in central defence. As a result, Wits only had one proper shot at goal, which was confidently saved by Virgil Vries.

Chiefs were more convincing in the second half, looking to dominate possession and playing positive soccer going forward. This resulted in a goal from Leonardo Castro in the 58th minute. Lebogang Manyama passed the ball to Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya just to the left in the opponent’s box. The left winger crossed the ball in front of goal and the ball found the feet of the Columbian striker, who brilliantly tapped the ball into the back of the net with Darren Keet getting a touch.

Wits tried to come back into the game after the goal, but the Glamour Boys kept it tight at the back and continued to play positive soccer whenever having the opportunity to go forward.

Coach Ernst Middendorp made two substitutions in respectively the 73rd and 75th minute, bringing on Bernard Parker for Khama Billiat and Lorenzo Gordinho for George Maluleka, who sustained an injury.

Parker took over the captaincy armband from Maluleka.

Soon thereafter, Ekstein netted the second goal. Castro passed the ball deep to Parker, who crossed the ball from inside the box, from the left, to Ekstein, who easily finished in front of goal. That was the 78th minute.

Thereafter, the Glamour Boys controlled the game and deservedly went on to collect the three points.

Key moment in the match:

That must be the goal by Leonardo Castro in the 58th minute. The Columbian striker got into the right position to put Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya’s cross from the left into the back of the net.

Most Valuable Player (MVP):

Teenage Hadebe was convincing in defence, while Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya did well in an attacking role on the left wing. Leonardo Castro, whenever getting the ball up-front, looked dangerous. However, it was Hendrick ‘Pule’ Ekstein who was selected as the Absa Premiership Man of the Match after a fine performance, which included the second goal.

What it means:

Kaizer Chiefs are now on 24 points from 17 games, moving up to fifth position on the Absa Premiership log.

Kaizer Chiefs 11: Vries; Moleko, Booysen, Cardoso, Hadebe; Manyama, Maluleka (Gordinho 75’), Ekstein, Ntiya-Ntiya; Billiat (Parker 73’), Castro

Subs not used: Bvuma, Walusimbi, Mahlasela, Ntshangase, Moon

Bidvest Wits 11: Keet; Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Johannes, Hlanti; Hotto (Motupa 74’), Monare, Alexander, Pelembe; Dzvukamanja (Mere 64’) Macupha (Majoro 46’)


Subs not used: Goss, Mhango, Claasen, Domingo


Next Match:

Kaizer Chiefs will face Zambia’s Zesco United on the road in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup play-off match at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia, on Sunday, 13 January 2019. Kick-off is at 15:00 (Zambian and South African time).