Sundowns (1) 2 ( 4. G. Kekana 8’, 38. P. Shalulile 63’)
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 0
At Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Kaizer Chiefs dominated large spells of their DStv Premiership clash against Mamelodi Sundowns, but fell to a 2-0 defeat away to the Brazilians at Loftus Versfeld.
It was a case of what could have been for Chiefs as they lost their first DStv Premiership game of the 2021-22 season in somewhat unfortunate circumstances.
Chiefs went behind early on when Grant Kekana headed Sundowns ahead in the 8th minute. Sundowns doubled their lead just past the hour mark through Peter Shalulile.
Lebogang Manyama missed a penalty late in the game and all of Chiefs plethora of chances went a begging. Amakhosi put up a good showing, but were unable to take any points from the game on the road.
Early in the game, some good teamwork from Chiefs saw Amakhosi conjure up the game’s first chance, as Keagan Dolly volleyed a Njabulo Blom cross from the right just over the crossbar, making good contact in just the 6th minute.
Against the run of play Sundowns took the lead, after Lyle Lakay played a quick one two with Gaston Sirino and swung in a cross from the right wing. His long looping ball found the head of Grant Kekana at the far post, who got to the ball ahead of a backtracking Austin Dube and he headed home to give Sundowns the lead.
Dolly was doing all the running down the right and sent in a dangerous looking ball for Nurković in the 15th minute, the Serb launched himself into the air and connected with his head, but Denis Onyango managed to dive to his left and plucked the ball out of the air.
The dynamic midfielder again proved to be a nuisance to the Sundowns defense on 22 minutes when he ran from deep and then unleashed a shot from distance, which went narrowly wide of Onyango’s left hand upright.
In the 28th minute it was another long searching ball from the right by Dolly which created havoc in the Sundowns defence, his ball going beyond Onyango who came out and missed the ball as it fell to Nurković, who could not direct his headed attempt and narrowly missed the target.
In the final minute of the first half Dolly picked out Khama Billiat down the right with a delightful ball along the ground, Billiat backheeled the ball into the path of Nurković who lifted the ball into the air and teed it up. As it came back down, he attempted a spectacular scissor kick but was unable to make contact with the ball.
A frantic first 45 minutes saw Chiefs go into the break somewhat unfortunately 1-0 down.
Into the second half and a foul by Rushine De Reuck on Nurković saw Chiefs get a free kick, from which Billiat floated the ball towards goal from the right as Daniel Cardoso managed to flick the ball onto the back post. Sifiso Hlanti came storming in and met the ball powerfully with his head and just as it looked like Chiefs were about to draw level, Onyango stuck out a hand and blocked the ball and Sundowns managed to clear their lines.
As Chiefs were fighting their way back into the game they conceded a second goal. Themba Zwane managed to shield the ball on the left and played it to substitute Neo Maema, who from the left hand byline turned the ball goal wards where Peter Shalulile was lurking and he moved ahead of Dube and side footed the ball past Bruce Bvuma to make the score 2-0 for the hosts.
Chiefs got a way back in the game in the 80th minute when Rivaldo Coetzee handled Cole Alexander’s attempted cross in the box. From the ensuing spot kick Lebo Manyama sent the ball crashing against the crossbar, and Sundowns two-goal lead stood.
In the final five minutes Manyama picked out Nurković with a ball from the right, which bounced in front of Onyango before the Serb got a header off at goal, but again could not hit the target.
Chiefs were unable to get a way back in the game and will now look to pick up the pieces in their next league game against Royal AM at home.
MVP – Although Chiefs lost the game, there were good performances from Keagan Dolly, who was a livewire throughout in the midfield, and Daniel Cardoso who was strong at the back. The link up play down the right between Blom and Dolly also created problems for Sundowns.
What Next – Chiefs will host Royal AM at home in their next league game on the 18th September. Kickoff for the game is at 17h00.
Sundowns: 14. D. Onyango, 27. T. Morena, 7. L. Lakay, 28. R. De Reuck, 4. G.Kekana, 40. R. Coetzee, 15. A. Jali, 18. T. Zwane (9. P. Safranko 67’), 10. G. Sirino (32. T. Kutumela 59’), 11. K. Erasmus ( 12. N. Naema 59’), 38. P. Shalulile (23. H. Domingo 84’)
Subs not used: 1. K. Mweene, 21. S. Mkhulise, 6. B. Onyango, 17. A. Modiba, 24. S. Vilakazi.
Cautions: 28. De Reuck 57’, 40. Coetzee 89’
Coaches: Rhulani Mokwena / Manqoba Mngqithi
Kaizer Chiefs: 44. B. Bvuma, 29. T. Dube ( 26. S. Mabiliso 68’), 23. S. Hlanti (21. L. Manyama 74’), 3. E. Mathoho, 4. D. Cardoso, 45. N. Blom, 17. C. Alexander, 24.Nange, 11. K. Billiat, 10. K. Dolly, 9. S. Nurković.
Subs not used: 43. D. Akpeyi, 39. R. Frosler, 27. Nj Ngcobo, 25. B. Parker, 5. A. Agay, 12. Nk Ngcobo, 14. K. Sekgota.
Cautions: 9. Nurković 49’, 45. Blom 90+3’
Coach: Stuart Baxter