2 September 2020
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Billiat 9’)
Chippa United 0
Kaizer Chiefs beat Chippa United 1-0 in a crucial Absa Premiership encounter at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night. The winner was scored by Khama Billiat, helping to keep Amakhosi at the top of the league table.
Itumeleng Khune was back between the posts, as Daniel Akpeyi got concussed in Sunday’s match against Bidvest Wits and will need time to fully recover.
Another one back in the line-up was Lebogang Manyama, who had recovered from a muscle strain.
Amakhosi attacked from the moment the referee blew the whistle for the game to start. The players were in a positive mood and, above all, Khama Billiat looked set to prove his criticasters, who felt that he hadn’t been playing well in recent times, wrong.
The build-up from the back was also a bit quicker than in recent games.
It all resulted in an early goal in the ninth minute. Mulomowandau Mathoho crossed the ball from the left in front of goal, Samir Nurković headed the ball on to Billiat, who finished from close range at the second goalpost, 1-0.
It was the Zimbabwean’s second goal this league season, with his last back in September.
Chiefs continued to pile up the pressure on the Chippa defence, looking for the second goal.
The Amakhosi defence, meanwhile, kept it tight with Khune not having much to do in the first half.
Important was also that the Glamour Boys controlled the midfield. Willard Katsande was his usual self, battling hard for every ball, while Manyama often initiated Chiefs’ attacking moves, thanks to some intelligent passes, often deep to the strikers.
Billiat nearly scored the second just before the break, but he shot the ball high over the goal.
The half-time was 1-0.
Kgotso Moleko injured his knee early in the second half and had to be replaced by Ramahlwe Mphahlele in the 55th minute.
Otherwise, Chiefs continued to attack with intent, looking for the second goal.
However, Chippa, not completely free of any relegation worries, tried to be a bit more offensive than in the first half.
Daniel Cardoso marshalled the defence well and was backed up Mathoho, who was another who delivered a fine performance.
Billiat looked on his way to net his second when he was rudely brought down just outside the box by Chippa’s Tercious Malepe, who was sent off by the referee as a result. That was in the 67th minute.
It means that the Chilli Boys were now down to ten men.
Coach Ernst Middendorp decided to ring the changes in the 75th minute, bringing on Siyabonga Ngezana and Anthony Akumu Agay for respectively Mathoho and Manyama.
Chippa thought that they had scored the equaliser in the 79th minute, but the goal was disallowed due to an infringement on Khune.
There was another red card for a Chippa player when Elvis Moyo tackled Mphahlele with his leg stretched out forward. It was a dangerous tackle and the referee didn’t hesitate long to send Moyo for an early shower.
It was overall a good performance from the Glamour Boys, especially in the first half, and the three points were well deserved.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Khama Billiat looked inspired and also scored the all-important match winner. Bernard Parker worked tremendously hard and seemed to be everywhere on the pitch. However, it was Daniel Cardoso who was selected as the Absa Premiership Man of the Match after a sterling defensive performance.
What it means:
It means that Kaizer Chiefs are still topping the Absa Premiership log, with 56 points from 29 matches. Mamelodi Sundowns, Amakhosi’s nearest rival for the league title, also won, beating Polokwane City 3-0. Masandawana are also on 56 points, but their goal difference is less than Chiefs.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune ©; Moleko (Mphahlele 55’), Mathoho (Ngezana 75’), Cardoso, Sasman; Parker, Katsande, Manyama (Agay 75’), Frosler (Zulu 95’); Billiat (Kambole 94’), Nurković
Subs not used: Bvuma, Baccus, Sifama
Chippa United 11: Mothwa ©; Thopola, Nsabiyumva, Kevin Moyo, Maphanga (Elvis Moyo 75’); Gamildien, Maphangule (Komane 72’), Malepe, Jodwana (Kwem 46’); Lentjies (Lebitso 70’), Sekotlong
Subs not used: Mazibuko, Mthethwa, Modisane, Masalesa, Mbenyane
Kaizer Chiefs will face Baroka FC in the last Absa Premiership fixture this season at Bidvest Wits Stadium on Saturday, 5 September. Kick-off is at 15:30. All the league games will start at the same time.