Chiefs fight back to earn point against Stellenbosch

6 April 2021

 

Kaizer Chiefs    (0) 2 (Castro 77’, Ngcobo 85’)

Stellenbosch    (0) 2 (Sinkala 73’, Nange 79’)

 

Kaizer Chiefs twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Stellenbosch FC in an entertaining DStv Premiership game at FNB Stadium on Tuesday evening. Amakhosi had two penalty calls turned down by the referee before Nathan Sinkala put the visitors into the lead in the 73rd minute. Leonardo Castro brought Chiefs level in the 77th minute. After Phathutshedzo Nange had headed Stellenbosch back into the lead in the 79th minute, a composed finish in the final five minutes of the game from Nkosingiphile Ngcobo ensured that the teams would share the spoils.

The game began at a frantic pace with end-to-end action early on. Chiefs were the first to come closest to breaking the deadlock. It took Nkosingiphile Ngcobo just three minutes to send a well-executed volley from distance which crashed against the Stellenbosch upright. Shane Stephens was well beaten despite his best attempts to stop the Chiefs midfielder’s effort at goal.

In the 6th minute, Stellenbosch conjured up a chance. Stanley Digmba was set through on goal down the right-wing. As he got into the Chiefs 18-yard area, Daniel Akpeyi came out and closed him down. He attempted the get the ball over the Chiefs keeper but sliced his effort wide of goal. Digmba in the 18th minute went on a slaloming run from his own half beating Daniel Cardoso, before driving for goal from a distance but he sent his effort past the Chiefs goal and out for a goal kick.

In 14th minute Lebogang Manyama managed to work some space for himself and glided into the Stellenbosch 18-yard where he seemed to be brought down by a tackle from behind from Sinkala, but the referee Michael Mosemeng allowed play to continue. Waving away Chiefs appeals for a penalty.

Seven minutes before the break Ngcobo showed his good vision as he threaded a ball through for Manyama to run onto the Stellenbosch defenders who were not alert to the creativity of the Chiefs midfielder. As the ball went beyond them, and despite Marc Van Heerden trying to play catchup with the ball, Manyama tried to beat Stephens from a tight angle. The keeper was able to narrow the angle and blocked the ball with his knee, denying Chiefs from going ahead.

The final action of a half dominated by Chiefs saw Bernard Parker drive the ball wide of goal from a long way out.

The teams headed into the break at 0-0.

Inside the first two minutes after the restart, a long ball from the half line by David van Rooyen bounced favourably for Ashley Du Preez who tried to push the ball round Akpeyi, who had come off his line to stop him. Chiefs were able to clear the danger.

A minute on, Junior Mendieta stole a march on goal and his close-range attempt to get the ball into the back of the net was blocked by Akpeyi. The ball ricocheted on back of the Argentine and flew over the Chiefs cross bar.

After seeing out the Stellenbosch onslaught, Chiefs had a series of corners before forcing Stephens into making a save. Manyama swept the ball along the ground to Happy Mashiane who raced through on goal with the Stellenbosch keeper storming off his line. Mashiane attempted to poke the ball under him, but he managed to get his body in the way and avert the danger in the 56th minute.

Just before the hour mark, Chiefs had calls for a penalty turned down again with Sinkala once again the protagonist. The Zambian upended Willard Katsande in the Stellenbosch 18-yard area. Again, Amakhosi could not get a favourable decision from the referee.

In the 67th minute, Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro came on as part of a double substitution. Billiat was trampled upon less than a minute after entering the field with Stellenbosch skipper Alan Robertson trampling on his foot. Not what the Chiefs playmaker needed on his return from a two month lay-off due to injury.

As fate would have it, Sinkala who got away with not conceding two penalties would then head the visitors into the lead in the 73rd minute. A corner from the left floated in by Mendieta saw Akpeyi come off his line to punch the ball away but was unable to connect with the ball and instead, the Zambian headed home.

The lead did not last long as Chiefs found themselves level in the 77th minute. A well-floated ball by Reeve Frosler form the left saw Castro climb up and headed the ball past Stephens. As he made contact with the ball, he clashed heads with Mogamad De Goede and needed treatment.

The action continued and Stellenbosch went ahead again. Digmba’s cross from the right was met by the head of Phathutshedzo Nange, who headed home from close range to put the visitors 2-1 ahead. This happened in the 79th minute.

Into the final five minutes of the game, Chiefs drew level again as Mashiane cut the ball back across goal close to the left-hand by-line. Castro missed the ball and rolled to Ngcobo who glided it home to make the score 2-2.

The referee blew the final whistle and a point is not what Chiefs would have wanted but the team displayed great character to fight back.

Chiefs now turn their attention back to continental matter and look towards their final group game in the Champions League against Horoya in Guinea on Saturday.

 

Number of the Game 249:

Bernard Parker featured in his 249th league game for Chiefs.

 

Fact of the game:

Leonardo Castor made his 99th appearance for Kaizer Chiefs in all competitions, while Samir Nurković made his 49th appearance in all competitions for Chiefs.

 

Most Valuable Player (MVP):

Ngcobo was influential in the game from the early minutes and troubled Stellenbosch all game long. He was well supported in midfield by Mashiane and Manyama as they carved open a number of chances.

Teams:

Chiefs:  Akpeyi; Frosler, Mathoho, Ngezana, Cardoso, Mashiane, Katsande (Baccus 83’), Ngcobo, Parker ©, Manyama (Billiat 66’); Nurković (Castro 66’)

Subs not used:  Khune; Mphahlele, Sasman, Matsheke, Zuma, Kambole

Stellenbosch: Stephens, Macheke, van Heerden, Robertson, De Goede,  Sinkala, Jabaar (Nange 76’), van Rooyen, Mendieta (Scott 76’), Du Preez; Dimgba (Skelem 86’)

Subs not used: Langeveldt; Mbekile, Mthethwa, Msengi, Brenner, Johnson

 

What’s next?

Chiefs are next in action on Saturday in the CAF Champions League when they travel to Guinea to face Horoya in their final group game.