Chiefs off to a good start for new season

04 August 2019

Highlands Park       (1) 2 (Ramagalela 22’, Shalulile 47’)

Kaizer Chiefs            (1) 3 (Manyama 5’, 50’; Mathoho 83’)

Kaizer Chiefs got their new season off to a great start with an away win over Highlands Park. The game was played in front of a sold-out crowd at Makhulong stadium in Tembisa on Sunday afternoon.

Coach Ernest Middendorp introduced three new faces by including Kearyn Baccus, Samir Nurković and Lazalous Kambole in his starting line-up. The new recruits were looking to impress the thousands of supporters who had been packed into the stadium.

Amakhosi started positively and the game burst into life as early as the 5th minute after Baccus delivered a cross that landed on Lebogang Manyama head and he controlled it to land in the far corner of the net, 0-1. This was Manyama’s first league goal for Chiefs.

The Lions of the north as Highlands Park are known were asking questions but their two speculative attempts went over the bar. It was in the 18th minute that Bruce Bvuma was tested but he was equal to the task when he stopped a shot from the opponents.

In the 22nd minute, Peter Shalulile delivered a square ball into the 18 area and Highlands’ new signing Rodney Ramagalela made no mistake as he tapped the ball into the net, leveling matters for Highlands Park.

The visitors continued probing and almost took another lead in the 32nd minutes when Manyama delivered a fine free kick that found Nurković’s diving head, but he directed the ball into the side netting.

There were more attacks on both sides, but none were as threatening until the referee blew his whistle to bring the first half to an end.

The first change of the match came at the start of the second half when Dumsani Zuma came on for Baccus.

The host had a good chance in the second half when they took advantage of captain Willard Katsande’s poor clearance in the 47th minute which landed on Ramagalela feet, who gave the ball to Lindokuhle Mbatha. Mbatha delivered a shot which deflected and landed on Shalilule feet, he made a perfect turn to put the hosts in the lead. 2-1 for Highlands Park.

Three minutes later Amakhosi responded when Manyama scored after Nurković delivered a fine ball with his head to Manyama and he made no mistake as he finished neatly to make it 2-all.

It was coach Middendorp that would make a second change when he brought George Maluleka on for Katsande in the 64th minute.

Coach Owen Da Gama also decide to introduce a pair of new left in the 65th when he brought on Mlungisi Mbunjana for Wayde Jooste.

In the 67th minute Chiefs came close to scoring, but Highlands Park keeper Marlon Heugh made a brilliant save after a powerful shot from Zuma.

Nurković had another chance in the 76th minute but his shot went wide.

Da Gama made more changes in the 77th minute when he took Ramagalela and Makhehleni Makhaula out and introduced Sifiso Mbhele and Sabele Nyembe.

It was Mulomowandau Mathoho that would make it a perfect afternoon when he made it 2-3 for Amakhosi with his left-footed deflected shot from outside the 18 area in the 83rd minute, much to the delight of the Amakhosi faithful in attendance.

Chiefs last change saw Ramahlwe Mphahlele replace Reeve Frosler in the 90th minute.

Highlands Park had a golden chance in stoppage time to draw level but Sphiwe Mahlangu’s header went over the bar.

Thousands of Kaizer Chiefs supporters in attendance cheered and sang as they celebrated a great win on an unseasonably warm afternoon in Tembisa.

Key moment in the match:

Fans were thoroughly entertained as there were plenty of action and goals at the Makhulong stadium, but it was Mathoho’s winning goal from his weaker foot that sealed it for Amakhosi, making it a perfect start to the season.

Most Valuable Player (MVP):

There were a number of candidates but two players that stood out were Reeve Frosler who worked hard on the right wing and Mathoho who defended excellently before scoring the winner. However, it was hard for the judges to ignore Manyama’s hard work and brace which helped him get the nod for the Absa Man of the Match award.

What it means:

Kaizer Chiefs continue their dominance over Highlands Park, having won four and drawn one in the last five meetings. Chiefs join other 5 teams who’ve won their opening weekend’s matches of the 2019/20 Absa Premiership.

Chiefs XI: Bvuma; Gordinho, Mathoho, Cardoso; Frosler (Mphahlele 90′), Katsande (Maluleka 64′), Manyama, Parker, Baccus (Zuma 46’), Kambole; Nurković.

Subs:  Akpeyi, Ngezana, Mashiane, Kotei

Coach: Ernst Middendorp

 

Highlands XI: Heugh; Mokwena, Ramoroka, Fransman, Mzava; Makhaula (Nyembe 77’), Mahlangu, Mbatha, Shalulile; Jooste (Mbunjana 65’), Ramagalela (Mbhele’)

Subs: Ngobeni, Mogaila, Rae, Ndoro

Coach: Owen Da Gama

Next Match:

Amakhosi will be at home for their second 2019/2020 Absa Premiership season match against Black Leopards. The match is scheduled for Saturday, 10 August 2019 at Amakhosi’s second home, Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Kick-off is at 20:15.