16 January 2019
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 3 (Van Heerden, og 1’, Parker 64’, Katsande 79’)
AmaZulu (0) 2 (Karuru 61’, Van Heerden 93’)
Kaizer Chiefs delivered an excellent performance to go 3-2 past AmaZulu in an Absa Premiership match at Umlazi’s King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday evening. Marc van Heerden netted an own goal inside the first minute, while Bernard Parker and Willard Katsande scored the other two.
Khama Billiat was given a break and therefore didn’t start against Usuthu. That was obviously done with the goal to have the Zimbabwean fresh and sharp for Saturday night’s crucial CAF Confederation Cup fixture against Zesco United.
Billiat was replaced in the line-up by Bernard Parker.
A minute of silence was observed before the match kicked off for the late Phil ‘Chippa’ Masinga.
The referee had barely blown the whistle when Chiefs found the back of the net. Goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha who received a back pass struggled for a split second to control the ball, and Leonardo Castro was on him like a flash.
The ball bounced off the Columbian striker, who put the ball into the back of the net, although he got some help of AmaZulu’s Marc van Heerden. As a result, the goal was awarded as an own goal for the Usuthu defender.
It was a great start to the game.
Chiefs continued to do well. Parker worked hard, Hendrick Ekstein again delivered a fine performance and Lebogang Manyama looked lively.
AmaZulu tried to get back into the encounter, but it was Amakhosi that nearly scored a second goal in the 25th minute. Parker gave a beautiful through-ball deep to Manyama, who kicked the ball slightly to the left of goal past the wrong side of the post.
Virgil Vries, meanwhile, made a few good interceptions to keep AmaZulu at bay.
Castro was clearly in the mood and let go of the ball from outside the box – the ball looked to curl into the top corner, but goalkeeper Mbatha made amends for his mistake earlier on by making a tremendous save.
The half-time score was 1-0.
Amakhosi were also the better side in the second half.
Manyama had to be taken off in the 55th minute after having been at the end of a bad tackles by an AmaZulu defender, which certainly warranted a yellow card. The Chiefs midfielder sustained a knee injury. He was replaced by Kabelo Mahlasela.
Slightly against the run of play, former Chiefs player, Ovidy Karuru, put the ball past Vries into the goal in the 61st minute, 1-1.
Three minutes later, however, the Glamour Boys were back in the lead. A high ball from the back got into the direction of Parker. The ball bounced on the ground. The striker was quicker to the ball than the AmaZulu defenders and released a thunderbolt into the short corner in the 64th minute, leaving the goalkeeper no chance, 2-1.
Billiat came on in the 73rd minute for Castro.
Parker nearly made it 3-1 in the 78th minute. He received a high ball on his chest and accordingly kicked the ball with his left foot at goal, but goalkeeper Mbatha blocked the ball brilliantly with his body.
Barely one minute later Chiefs had their third goal from a corner. It was Katsande who put the ball into the back of the net.
The Glamour Boys even had some chances to extend the lead even further, but it wasn’t to be.
A set-back, however, was AmaZulu’s second goal in injury time, scored from close range by Van Heerden, 3-2.
It was a good overall performance and Chiefs fully deserved to take the three points back home.
Key moment in the match:
That was probably Bernard Parker’s goal in the 64th minute. It was the 2-1 and it looked to break AmaZulu’s spirit.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
A few played showed fine form, including Bernard Parker, Leonardo Castro, Lebogang Manyama and Hendrick ‘Pule’ Ekstein, who is at present delivering a string of excellent performances in a row. In the end, it was ‘Pule’ who was selected as the Absa Premiership Man of the Match.
What it means:
Thanks to the win Kaizer Chiefs have moved up one spot to fourth position on the Absa Premiership log, having 27 points from 18 games.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Vries; Moleko, Cardoso, Booysen (Ngezana 54’), Cardoso, Hadebe; Manyama (Mahlasela 55’), Katsande, Ekstein, Ntiya-Ntiya; Parker, Castro (Billiat 73’)
Subs not used: Bvuma, Andrianarimanana, Ntshangase, Moon
AmaZulu 11: Mbatha; Gumede, Nyongo, Van Heerden, Mabiliso; Sithebe, Vilikazi, Morton (Ramphela 82’), Karuru (Ncobeni 73’); Tade, Ntuli (Cele 85’)
Subs not used: Josephs, Sikhakhane, Darpoh, Lumkwana
Kaizer Chiefs will host Zambia’s Zesco United at FNB Stadium in the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup play-off match on 19 January 2019. Kick-off is at 20:00