4 May 2021
TTM (1) 2 (Rakhale 42’, Mnyamane 90+8’, pen)
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Manyama 66’)
Kaizer Chiefs’ DStv Premiership top eight hopes were dealt a heavy blow to the solar plexus when a contentious last-gasp penalty gave the home side victory and ensured Amakhosi left the north empty handed.
Home side Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila started the game in the relegation places, while Chiefs sought to climb into the top half of the table.
The game started in familiar fashion, with Chiefs controlling possession and territory without really threatening their opponents’ goal.
Chiefs’ young defender Njabulo Blom was booked in the 18th minute for a heavy tackle on TTM’s Celimpilo Ngema, which would later prove costly.
In the 21st minute TTM attacker Thabo Mnyamane stung the gloves of Bruce Bvuma in the Chiefs goal with a stinging shot from range cutting in from the right flank, which the Chiefs stopper could only parry away for a corner in the game’s first real goalmouth action.
Blom let his side down in the 38th minute when – already on a yellow – he tugged unnecessarily on the shoulders of TTM defensive midfielder Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo on the edge of the box to receive an innocuous second yellow card and his early marching orders.
Mnyamane nearly made Amakhosi pay dearly immediately after the sending off, when his thunderous left-footed free kick from the resultant set piece thudded against Bvuma’s crossbar, with the Amakhosi keeper only too grateful to grab the rebound and clear his lines.
Amakhosi would go behind in the 42nd minute, when Mnyamane floated a ball into the box from the right which found midfielder Thabo Rakhale unmarked with plenty of space to control the ball on his chest and flash in a sweet volley which sailed past Bvuma and nestled into the net for the game’s first goal.
TTM grew in confidence after their goal, taking the game to Chiefs and going into the break with a deserved lead, their four attempts to Chiefs’ paltry one telling the story of an insipid first half display from the Amakhosi.
Yagan Sasman replaced Happy Mashiane for the second half on the left side of the Chiefs defence.
Chiefs at least managed an attempt on goal in the 51st minute, Samir Nurković’s downward header from a Bernard Parker corner being tipped over the bar by TTM keeper Washington Arubi.
It was proving to be another long, frustrating away night for Amakhosi, with Lebogang Manyama trying to spark the team to life on the hour mark with some nifty footwork and a shot which at least drew a save from Arubi.
In the 62nd minute Chiefs were thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty after Nurković was clearly hacked down in the box by TTM defender Ayanda Nkili.
After a bit of an injury delay, referee Victor Hlungwani eventually pointed to the spot, with Manyama dispatching the penalty at the second attempt on the rebound – after Arubi’s initial save – to give a 10-man Amakhosi parity on the night.
Chiefs made a double change in the 73rd minute when Dumsani Zuma and Willard Katsande came on for Manyama and Kearyn Baccus, as Amakhosi went for broke in pursuit of a winner.
In the 76th minute, it was Parker’s turn to rattle the TTM crossbar with a rasping left footed shot after a lay off from Nurković as Chiefs finally started to show some urgency.
It was still anyone’s game in the closing stages as both sides went for the win, Leonardo Castro replacing Nurković upfront late on.
The board showed six minutes of injury time, but as the game looked to be petering out for a draw, there was late drama and agony for the Amakhosi.
With the ball making its way into the box in the dying seconds, Mnyamane attempted a flying backheel, with Siyabonga Ngezana on his heels, the ball bouncing up and striking the Chiefs defender on the hand.
There seemed little Ngezana could do and it could hardly be construed as a deliberate handball, but such is the fuzzy nature of the handball rule in the box these days that Hlungwani pointed to the spot.
It was tough on Chiefs, who played for much of the match with a man down, but who in fairness didn’t do enough to win the game.
Mnyamane scored from the spot with the game’s very last kick of the game, to give TTM the win and condemn a bitterly disappointed Amakhosi to their ninth defeat of the season.
Chiefs stayed on 29 points and outside the top eight after a dire night in Limpopo.
TTM jumped out of the relegation places into 14th spot on 25 points with the win, as they head into the Nedbank Cup final bristling with confidence.
But for Chiefs, it’s back to the drawing board after the defeat.
Chiefs: Bvuma; Mphahlele, Ngezana, Frosler, Zulu, Blom (Red card), Parker ©, Baccus (Katsande 74’), Mashiane (Sasman 46’), Manyama (Zuma 73’); Nurković (Castro 88’)
Subs not used: Petersen, Ntiya-Ntiya, Agay, Ngcobo, Kambole
TTM: Arubi, Nkili; Ndlondlo, Thopola (Theron 75’), Rakhale (Nevhulamba 69’); Nonyane, Ravhuhali, Timm, Ngema, Mnyamane, Lamola (Molangoane 79’)
Subs not used: Mamudzidi; Lukhubeni, Manaka, Thangwane, Madhanaga, Rantie
Kaizer Chiefs next host Moroka Swallows at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday 12 May at 17h00.