Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Hlanti 74’)
Royal AM (1) 4 ( Letsoalo 34’, 65’, Mabiliso o.g. 75’, Thikazi 90+5’)
Kaizer Chiefs were defeated 4-1 at home by Royal AM in a DStv Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.
Victor Letsoalo scored a brace for the visitors, netting in the 34th and 65th minutes, to give the visitors the ascendancy.
Chiefs found a way back into the game when scoring in the 74th minute through Sifiso Hlanti from a free kick. Sibusiso Mabiliso then scored an unlucky own goal on 75 minutes, with the visitors netting a fourth late in stoppage time through Mfundo Thikazi to seal the points.
Three minutes into the game Kamogelo Mashikinya floated the ball over the Chiefs defence and found Letsoalo who skillfully controlled the ball and shot at goal, with his shot beating Brandon Petersen but grazing the outside of his right hand upright to give Chiefs an early scare.
In the 13th minute Cole Alexander backheeled the ball towards Samir Nurković inside the Royal AM penalty area, with the Serb brushing aside two defenders before playing the ball wide to the left to Sifiso Hlanti. The Chiefs defender sent the ball back across goal to Khama Billiat, who was unable to make good contact with the ball, as his effort went wide of goal.
The chances kept coming and Khama Billiat cleverly released Cole Alexander in the 18th minute in a flowing move which saw Billiat skillfully backheel the ball to Alexander, who raced toward the Royal AM goal unmarked, but with just keeper Patrick Nyame to beat, Alexander lifted the ball over the keeper but agonisingly past the goalpost.
In the 27th minute Royal AM gave Chiefs a few jittery moments, when first Levy Mashiane got on the end of a long ball from the back, but just as he got into the Chiefs 18 yard area he lost his footing at a crucial moment and spurned the chance.
Shortly thereafter, Njabulo Blom needed to slide in to push the ball away to safety, just as Kabelo Mahlasela teed up a shot at goal from close range.
All of Chiefs early dominance came to naught in the 34th minute when Levy Mashiane was able to whip in a cross from the right and Letsoalo launched himself at the ball after he had gotten in front of Daniel Cardoso and got down low to head the ball home.
Three minutes before half time, a similar move with a long ball over the top from Royal AM saw Mashiane collect the ball and lay it off to Tebogo Potshane, who drove the ball at goal and had Petersen lunging off the ground to push the ball with one hand over his goal for a corner.
Chiefs had a chance to draw level in first half stoppage time, as Blom’s cross-come-shot from the right was not handled properly by Nyame, with Nurković storming in to knock the loose ball home, but blasting it into the body of the Royal AM goalkeeper as Chiefs went into the break a goal down.
In the second half, Alexander drew a save from Nyame with a well driven shot from the edge of the 18 yard area in the 53rd minute. Shortly thereafter Billiat – while going for the ball inside the Royal AM penalty box – was bundled over by Samuel Manganyi. It looked a clear penalty for Chiefs, but referee Tshidiso Maruping did not budge and allowed play to go on.
Letsoalo, though, would be the next player on the score sheet as he curled home a free kick from an acute angle, just on the edge of the Chiefs 18 yard area to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Chiefs did get back into the game when Hlanti beautifully slotted a free kick, after Billiat was fouled on the edge of the Royal AM penalty box.
But just a minute later, Chiefs were two goals down again when Sibusiso Mabiliso – just on as a substitute – unfortunately turned the ball past Petersen to make the score 3-1 in favour of the visitors.
Amakhosi ended the game with ten men as Royal AM skipper Lesego Manganyi hacked down Chiefs substitute Kgaogelo Sekgota. The Chiefs winger limped off, with Chiefs having already made all their substitutions, yet there was no caution for the Royal AM captain.
Down to ten men and chasing the game, Chiefs threw everything into attack and were hit on the counter-attack deep into referee’s optional time at the end of the game, as Royal AM broke quickly and Thikazi scored the visitors fourth goal to send Chiefs to a disappointing defeat.
Chiefs: 1. B. Petersen, 23 S. Hlanti ( 29. S. Mabiliso 75’), 3. E. Mathoho (21. L. Manyama 62’), 4. D. Cardoso, 27. Nj Ngcobo, 45. N. Blom, 17. C. Alexander, 24. P. Nange (5. A. Akumu 42’), 10. K. Dolly ( 14. K. Sekgota 75’), 11. K. Billiat, 9. S. Nurković (12. Nk Ngcobo 75’)
Subs Not Used: 44. B. Bvuma, 39. R. Frosler, 29. T. Dube, 6. K. Baccus.
Cautions: 17. C. Alexander 54’, 21. L. Manyama 87’
Coach: Stuart Baxter
Royal AM: 16. P. Nyame, 20. Z. Mkhize (28. W. Mabuza 89’), 30. T. Monamodi, 22. T. Rikhotso, 24. T. Lingwati, 18. K. Mashikinya, 13. S. Manganyi, 11. T. Potsane (34. M. Thikazi 69’), 12. K. Mahlasela ( 50. M. Masuku 88’), 38. L. Mashiane (8. L. Phalane 62’), 21. V. Letsoalo.
Subs Not used 31. S. Chaine, 34. M. Thikazi, 45. S. George, 46. M. Mdluli, 9. M. Sera, 29. R. Van Der Ross.
Cautions: 16. P. Nyame 88’
Coach: John Maduka