2 October 2018
Highlands Park 0
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Kaizer Chiefs and Highlands Park played to a goalless draw in an entertaining Absa Premiership match at Tembisa’s Makhulong Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Gustavo Páez came back into the starting XI compared to the 2-0 win against AmaZulu FC. Leonardo Castro, however, was still out due to an ankle injury.
George Maluleka, meanwhile, was fit again, but had to start on the bench.
The game was lively and was played at a sold out Makhulong Stadium. There was an excellent vibe with the Kaizer Chiefs supporters coming out in full force to stand behind their team.
Amakhosi had most of the ball possession early on, even though it didn’t result in any early goalscoring opportunities.
Khama Billiat was again in fine form, despite often being marked by two opponents, while Lebogang Manyama looked dangerous when in possession of the ball.
Itumeleng Khune was called into action in the 24th minute, but the goalkeeper managed to fist the ball outside the danger zone after a well-hit shot from just inside the box.
A minute later it looked as if Chiefs would score the game’s opening goal after some good work on the left by Páez, but Dumsani Zuma’s shot from close range was well blocked by goalkeeper Tapuwe Kapini from reaching the back of the net.
The Glamour Boys had another chance late in the first half from a corner, but Daniel Cardoso’s header failed to hit the target.
There were no goals in the first half.
The home side tried to push for an early goal in the second half and pressing the Chiefs players early on, although Amakhosi looked dangerous on the break.
There was another chance for Zuma in the 55th minute. Again, it was Páez who made a good run on the flank, this time on the right, before delivering the ball into the box. Zuma’s header, however, flew wide of the goal.
It was a tough game. Coach Giovanni Solinas tried to change the game by making a double substitution in the 65th minute, bringing on Bernard Parker and Hendrick Ekstein for respectively Páez and Manyama.
It was Ekstein who got an excellent chance to put Chiefs ahead after a brilliant action by Siphelele Ntshangase, setting ‘Pule’ in front of the goalkeeper, but the midfielder put the ball past the wrong side of the sidebar.
The draw was probably a fair resulted considering the number of chances both sides got.
Key moment in the match:
A key moment was probably the chance Dumsani Zuma got in the first half. A goal would have changed the game, but it wasn’t to be.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
It was a tough match against a hard running and highly competitive Highlands Park side. Itumeleng Khune was doing well in goal, Khama Billiat was again in fine form, while Daniel Cardoso showed that he’s back to his best. Others having a fine performance were Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Siphelele Ntshangase. However, it was Highland Parks midfielder Lindokuhle Mbatha who was selected as the Man of the Match.
What it means:
It means that Kaizer Chiefs have moved up to second position on the log table with 14 points from 9 encounters.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Mphahlele, Ngezana, Cardoso, Walusimbi; Zuma (Zulu 82’), Katsande, Ntshangase, Billiat; Manyama (Ekstein 65’), Páez (Parker 65’)
Subs not used: Vries, Booysen, Ntiya-Ntiya, Maluleka
Highlands Park 11: Kapini; Mokoena, Sibande, Rae, Msimango; Mbatha, Ramoraka, Mvala, Sekola (Haoseb 75’); Motlafi (Nyembe 67’), Shalulile
Subs not used: Heugh, Fransman, Motsepe, Mofokeng, Mahlangu
Kaizer Chiefs will host Polokwane City in an Absa Premiership encounter at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening night, 6 October 2018 (kick-off is at 18:00). However, no tickets will be sold as the game will played behind closed doors.