15 February 2020
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Nurković 78’)
Maritzburg United (0) 2 (Claasen 65’, 67’)
Kaizer Chiefs’ six game winning run at home in league games and seven at home in all competitions came to an end as they were defeated 2-1 by Maritzburg United at FNB Stadium in an Absa Premiership clash on Saturday evening. All three goals come in a frantic thirteen-minute spell in the second half. Daylon Claasenscored two goals in the space of two minutes to swing the game in Maritzburg’s favor in the 65th and 67th minute, at a time when Chiefs were in ascendancy. Samir Nurkovic scored in the 78th minute to bring Chiefs back into the game, but Amakhosi were unable to stage a comeback.
Seven minutes into the game, a long ball from the right by George Maluleka picked out Nurković on the opposite end – he controlled the ball with his chest before fighting off the challenge of Mxolisi Kunene and sending the ball goal–wards trying to find Leonardo Castro. The ball evaded him, and Richard Ofori was eventually able to collect it as the danger was averted.
In the 13th minute Chiefs had a chance with Khama Billiat going for goal from distance. His driven shot went wide of the mark.
Chiefs were causing Maritzburg problems down the wings. In the 16th minute, a well-timed cross from Reeve Frosler, trying to pick out Nurković had the Maritzburg defence all at sea as the ball deflected towards goal off Nazeer Allie. It took a save from Ofori to spare his teammates blushes as he prevented what could have been an own goal.
Amakhosi continued to pile on the pressure. In the 25th minute they came close to breaking the deadlock as Nurković was able to make contact and head Manyama’scorner from the left towards goal where Ofori was forced into pushing the ball away. It went only as far as Daniel Cardoso who climbed up and headed the ball powerfully towards Ofori, but the ball got a deflection off Keagan Buchanan and it went over the bar.
Ten minutes before half time, Chiefs launched an attack from the back with Billiat at the heart of the move. He raced from deep into his own half leaving the defencein his wake before passing the ball to his left, where he picked out Nurković, who raced into the Maritzburg 18–yard area leaving two defenders in his wake before drilling the ball towards goal. It took a full-length dive from Ofori to block the ball. Siphosakhe Ntiya Ntiya raced in to try and drill the lose ball home. He and Ofori collided, leaving both players needing treatment. Ntiya Ntiya though was judged to be offside when he went for the ball.
With half time fast approaching, Manyama managed to lift a free kick over the Maritzburg wall where Nurković was able to run onto the ball. Although he made contact, he could not find the target. The first half ended 0-0.
Chiefs continued to dominate in the second half and in an attempt to unlock Maritzburg’s defense Dumsani Zuma was brought in for Castro in the 62nd minute.A minute later, he managed to play Billiat into space. He in turn was able to roll the ball to Manyama who when baring down on goal saw his eventual effort stopped by Ofori.
For all their attacking intent Chiefs found themselves a goal down in the 65thminute when Daniel Akpeyi went over to catch a cross from the right. He was unable to handle the ball and Thabiso Kutumela dispossessed him and played the ball to Tebogo Tlolane, who was able to send in the ball to the opposite end where Claasen was able to turn the ball home into a virtually empty net. Chiefs fell further back two minutes later when another cross from Tlolane found Kutumelawho in turn lobbed the ball to Claasen who knocked the ball home to double the visitors’ advantage.
The fight back for Chiefs began in the 78th minute when Allie conceded a corner.Manyama was able to swing the ball in, Nurković was able to rise high and head the ball home past Ofori as the Chiefs striker notched home his 11th league goal of the season. Despite continuing to attack Chiefs created a number of chances but were unable to find the elusive equaliser, as Chiefs did feel that Allie had handled the ball late in the game but the referee waved play on.
Chiefs going down 2-1 falling to their third league defeat of the season. The team will turn their attention to their Nedbank Cup last 16 clash against Highlands Park in a week’s time.
Number of the match – 15:
Chiefs have managed to score one goal in each of their last fifteen league games. it is the first time in the PSL era since 1996-97 that Chiefs have managed to do so. It is the first time since 1991 that Chiefs have scored in 15 successive league games.
Fact of the game:
Samir Nurković is the first Chiefs player since Bernard Parker managed to score 12 league goals in 2012-13, to score more than 10 goals in the league for Chiefs.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Chiefs midfielders kept Amakhosi in front for most of the game with their neat inter-passing as well as their well-timed pin -point crosses from dead ball situations. Samir Nurković continues to show his value to the team with his 11thleague goal of the season.
What it means:
Despite the loss Chiefs maintain a 7-point lead at the top of the table.
Chiefs: Akpeyi; Frosler (Parker 72’), Mathoho, Cardoso, Ntiya-Ntiya; Katsande©, Maluleka (Agay 90’), Billiat, Manyama; Castro (Zuma 62’), Nurković
Subs not used: Khune, Sasman, Moleko, Kambole
Maritzburg XI: Ofori ©; Xulu (Sanoka 46’), De Reuck, Allie, Ntshangase, Tlolane (Jappie 83’); Claasen, Buchanan, Kunene, Moseamedi, Kutumela (Nyoni69’)
Subs not used: Mpandle, Mgonyama, Timm, Brockie