Chiefs move to second with inspired win

Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Nk. Ngcobo 25’, Nange 87’)

Sekhukhune  (0) 0

At FNB Stadium

Kaizer Chiefs showed great spirit, motivation and determination to record a 2-0 win against Sekhukhune United and climb up to second place on the DStv Premiership standings.

Despite a recent Covid outbreak in the camp which had hampered their preparations for this encounter, Amakhosi showed composure and class to record a comfortable victory under the tutelage of coach Arthur Zwane to leapfrog their visitors on the league standings.

Man of the match, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, was an influential figure throughout the game and scored a wonderful goal that clearly showcased his talents.

Ngcobo spectacularly sent the ball past Sekhukhune goalkeeper, Toaster Nsabata, to give Chiefs the lead in the 25th minute, with second-half substitute Phathutshedzo Nange adding a second to seal the win for Chiefs.

Just five minutes had elapsed when Ngcobo picked up a pass from Reeve Frosler with his back to goal, showing some good skill to create space for himself and curl the ball towards goal with his left foot from the right edge of the Sekhukhune penalty box. The shot went just wide of Nsabata’s right hand upright, but set the tone for what was to come from Ngcobo and from Amakhosi on the night.

The action was relentless and in the ninth minute, Daniel Akpeyi made a save off a Tsehdiso Paatjie freekick from the right. A minute later a corner on the right fell to Frosler, who sped down the right and had the beating of two Sekhukhune players before lifting the ball to the far post, where he picked out Daniel Cardoso, whose volley from close range went high and wide.

The end to end action continued in the 20th minute, with Sekhukhune launching an attack down the right as Paatjie sent in a curling cross which picked out Talent Chawapihwa, whose pass, in turn, found Thabo Rakhale, whose powerful shot at goal brought out a sublime save from Akpeyi, moving to his right to push the ball out for a corner with his fingertips.

Before anyone could catch their breath Chiefs themselves went on the attack in the 25th minute. Njabulo Blom rolled the ball to Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, who made room for himself and from outside the Sekhukhune 18 yard area let rip with a powerful shot with amazing accuracy, the goalbound shot drifting past the diving Nsabata and creeping inside the keepers right hand upright to give Chiefs the lead in spectacular fashion.

While he played a hand in setting up Ngcobo for the Chiefs goal, Blom did well to block what looked like a goalbound shot from Rakhale, after he had connected with a ball from the right by Prince Nxumalo. Blom timed his tackle to perfection, tracking the play and getting back to make a timely interception of the ball.

Returning after having had just four days of preparations ahead of the game, the Chiefs players gave a good account of themselves in the first half, demonstrating good energy levels and did not show any signs of fatigue as they led 1-0 at the break.

The first major talking point of the second half occurred five minutes after the restart as former Chiefs midfielder Willard Katsande went in with a two-footed lunge on Blom, knocking him off his feet. Katsande was given a caution for his tackle when the card could have easily been red.

In the 54th minute, Blom was in the thick of things again after collecting a pass on the right from Nkosingiphile Ngcobo. He drove the ball from a tight angle towards goal and had the beating of Nsabata, but the ball crashed into the side netting as Chiefs continued to assert their dominance on the game.

After coming on in the 68th minute Kgaogelo Sekgota made an immediate impact in the 70th minute, storming down the left wing to found Ngcobo in acres of space inside the Sekhukhune penalty box, who took too long on the ball before laying it off to Leonardo Castro. By the time the ball had reached the Colombian, Edwin Gyimah had recovered to clear the danger.

Shortly afterward Nkosingiphile Ngcobo tested Nsabata once again with another well-executed attempt from distance, this time the Sekhukhune keeper was able to make a comfortable save.

In attempting to deal with Sekgota’s impact Sekhukhune brought the Chiefs midfielder down in the 80th minute, with the visitors skipper Sell Motsepe catching his ear with a wayward challenge and leaving the Chiefs player needing treatment.

Sekgota got back on the field and showed good initiative in the final minutes as he put Pogiso Mahlangu under pressure. He passed the ball back to his keeper who then tried to find him again, but instead, Sekgota intercepted the ball and laid it off to Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, who played it through the legs of Mahlangu and found Nange, who placed the ball home for his first goal for Chiefs to all but secure the points.

Chiefs were under immense pressure heading into the game, but with a much changed team and not a lot of time to prepare, they put up a great showing to win the game as they get their league programme back on track with a morale boosting win.

Fact of the Match – Kaizer Chiefs have now won four of their last five league matches and are undefeated in their last five, with one draw in this run. Chiefs have collected thirteen of a possible fifteen points from their last five league games.

Number of the Game 100 – Stand in Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane has a 100 percent record in the DStv Premiership when standing in as an interim head coach, winning two league games last season and this match.

 

MVP – Nkosingiphile Ngcobo was the standout performer in the game, scoring a delightful goal and showing maturity and composure beyond his years to set up Nange for Chiefs second.

What’s next – Kaizer Chiefs have a week to recuperate ahead of their next DStv Premiership game away from home against Royal AM on the 19th December.

Line Ups:

Kaizer Chiefs: 40. D. Akpeyi, 20. S. Ngezana, 29. T. Dube, 4. D. Cardoso, 36. S. Ntiya-Ntiya ( S. Mabiliso 86’), 39. R. Frosler ( E. Mathoho 68’), 45. N. Blom ( Nj Ngcobo 84’), 12. Nk Ngcobo, 19. H. Mashiane ( K. Sekgota 68’) , 25. B. Parker, 9. L. Castro ( P. Nange 84’)

Substitutes Not Used: 44. B. Bvuma, 46. A. McCarthy, 42. M. Shabalala, 41. R. Milazi.

 

Coach: Arthur Zwane

Sekhukhune: 1. T. Nsabata, 42. N. Mobbie, 6. Y. Maart, 13. S. Motsepe (K. Molaba), 39. E. Gyimah, 31. W. Katsande, 21. C. Jampies ( N. Madonsela 69’), 11. T. Patjie ( K. Sithole 85’), 25. T. Rakhale (P. Mahlangu 59’), 22. P. Nxumalo ( T. Sibanyoni 59’), 27. T. Chawapihwa.

Substitutes Not Used: 16. T. Kapini, 14. T. Matona, 29. J. Chabalala, 26. S. Parusnath, 24. K. Sithole

Cautions: 31. W. Katsande 49’, 13. S. Motsepe 79’

Coach: Macdonald Makhubedu