24 August 2019
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Nurković 14’)
SuperSport United (0) 1 (Grobler 83’)
Samir Nurković scored his first goal for Kaizer Chiefs as Amakhosi played out a hard fought 1-1 draw with SuperSport United at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening, Chiefs had taken the lead in the 14th minute but had to settle for a point after Bradley Grobler scored an 83rd minute equaliser for SuperSport. Chiefs keeper Daniel Akpeyi proved to be the late saviour for Amakhosi as he saved a penalty from Bradley Grobler four minutes into referee’s added time at the end of the game.
Khama Billiat in the starting line up for the first time this season was in the heart of Chiefs early attacks, after tearing away from Teboho Mokoena in the third minute of the game. He glided into the SuperSport 18-yard area, before laying the ball off to his right to Nurković whose well timed shot was collected by Ronwen Williams. Three minutes later Billiat after receiving the ball around 25 yards from goal let fly at goal with Williams again going down to make a routine save.
Chiefs early dominance paid off in the 14th minute when a long searching ball from Lebogang Manyama found Nurković on the left he cut into the danger zone and attempted to lob the ball past Grant Kekana who was trying to block his path to goal. He managed to deftly lift the ball over Kekana and it sailed past SuperSport goalkeeper Williams who looked on as the ball went past him and into the net at his back post to give Chiefs the lead.
SuperSport’s best chances of the half coming in the 26th minute when a free kick from the left was floated in to the Chiefs’ penalty box where Kekana rose up an headed the ball towards goal after it had been deflected to him off the head of Nurković. It hit the Chiefs up right and fell to Kudakwashe Mahachi whose ferocious drive was blocked by Nurković who stopped a certain equaliser.
As half time approached SuperSport created another chance to find the elusive equalizer. A throw in from the left was hacked overhead by Mahachi to Evans Rusike who chested the ball into the path of Mokoena, who met the ball on the volley but dragged it wide of Akpeyi’s right hand upright.
Three minutes into the second half, after some good interplay between Billiat and Manyama, a cross was sent in from the left side of the SuperSport 18 yard but Lazalous Kambole was unable to make contact with the ball which sailed away from goal.
In the 59th minute, Daniel Cardoso while trying to deal with a cross from the left headed the ball against Thamsanqa Gabuza who attacked the ball as it went towards goal, he clattered into Akpeyi as the Chiefs goalie came out for the ball. Bradley Grobler attacked the loose ball was unable to get the ball under control as Mulomowandau Mathoho came in to clear the ball to safety.
Coach Middendorp decided to ring in changes in 65th minute when he introduced Kearyn Baccus for Kamobole.
Nurković was making life hard for the SuperSport defence within the space of three minutes he came close to helping Chiefs grab a second. In the 66th minute he tested Williams with a close range header, a minute later he made space for himself in the SuperSport danger zone and again forced Williams into a save with a shot from the right. Two minutes on and Nurkovic managed to hold up the ball before laying it off to Billiat on the right, when in on goal Billiat dragged his shot at goal wide.
That was to be Billiat’s last chance as he was stretchered out and replaced by Dumsani Zuma in the 73rd minute.
Zuma did not waste time as he was brought down in the area in the 74th minute but the referee decided not to award what looked like a clear penalty for Amakhosi.
After a 5-star performance, Mathoho could not carry on with the match due to injury. He was stretchered off and this final change saw Middendorp opt for Lorenzo Gordihno in the 82nd minute.
In the 83rd minute, Chiefs had the opportunity to go two goals up, but Williams denied Nurković from close range after he had been set through on goal by Manyama. It was a miss Chiefs would rue as SuperSport would equalise soon after with Grobler drawing them level by stroking the ball home from inside Chiefs 18-yard area beyond Akpeyi.
Deep into referee’s optional time at the end of the game SuperSport were awarded a very dubious penalty after Lorenzo Gordinho was adjudged to have handled the ball. Akpeyi proved to be Chiefs hero as he made himself big diving to his right to save Bradley Grobler’s spot kick and ensured the teams shared the spoils.
Fact of the match
Kaizer Chiefs have now scored at least one goal in their last 10 home league games against SuperSport United. This is the first time since the formation of the PSL in 1996-97 that the Amakhosi have achieved such a feat against them.
Number of the Match 100
Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi featured in his 100th Absa Premiership game it was his 8th league appearance for Chiefs. He had played 92 Absa Premiership games for Chippa United previously.
Key moment in the match:
Nurković first goal for Amakhosi was special as he had been threating in the last two matches. The goal was all important as it helped the team secure a draw against the visitors.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Mathoho was once again in fine form at the back. He was unfortunately tackled badly and had to be taken off minutes later. Nurković was a pain for United and a contender for the man of the match award but the judges handed it the hardworking Manyama who did extremely well in midfield.
What it means:
Kaizer Chiefs have won two matches and drawn one. They Phefeni Glamour Boys are again the summit of the Absa Premiership log with seven points.
Chiefs XI: Akpeyi; Ntiya-Ntiya, Mathoho (Gordinho 82’), Cardoso, Frosler: Maluleka, Manyama, Parker (capt), Kambole (Baccus 65’); Billiat (Zuma 73’), Nurković
Subs not used: Khune, Katsande, Moleko, Castro
Coach: Ernst Middendorp
SuperSport XI: Williams; Nhlapo, Bhasera, Mbule (Gabuza 55’), Daniels; Kekana, Furman, Mahachi (Lungu 64’) Mokoena; Rusike, Grobler
Subs not used: Pule, Fleurs, Webber, Khumalo, Mnyamane,
Coach: Kaitano Tembo
Amakhosi will travel to the Mother City for a tricky assignment against Cape Town City FC on Tuesday evening. Kick off for the match is 19:30 at the Newlands stadium.