4 April 2018
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Hadebe 95’)
Free State Stars 0
Just when the game looked set for a draw, Teenage Hadebe’s brilliant header sealed the three points for the Glamour Boys. Kaizer Chiefs played Free State Stars on the road in an Absa Premiership clash at Bethlehem’s Goble Park on Wednesday evening.
Coach Steve Komphela decided to go with the same line-up that had beaten Baroka FC in last Saturday’s Nedbank Cup quarterfinal clash.
The first half was very open with both sides willing to attack. The rain had made the field a bit slippery, but it was otherwise fine to play on.
The home side got a few opportunities early on in the first half, one of which was due to a rare slip-up of Itumeleng Khune, although the goalkeeper also made a fabulous save tipping Paulus Masehe’s shot over the crossbar. Otherwise, Chiefs’ defence kept things well under control.
The first goalscoring opportunity for Amakhosi arrived in the 17th minute when Leonardo Castro’s shot at goal just flew past the wrong side of the left goalpost.
Two other chances, for Ryan Moon and Hendrick Ekstein, also failed to hit the back of the net.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele was a threat when moving forward on the right flank, while Siphiwe Tshabalala’s set-pieces, as usual, always posed a threat for the opponent’s defence.
Chiefs came out of the dressing room for the second half a little more determined, looking for the three points.
There was a great opportunity for Castro after a well-directed cross from the right by Ekstein. The Colombian striker excellently headed the ball at goal, but the Free State Stars goalkeeper, Ali Sangare, miraculously kept the ball out of the goal.
The home side, however, continued to get their chances as well and they looked dangerous whenever former Chiefs striker Siphelele Mthembu was on the ball.
Amakhosi’s Daniel Cardoso, however, was again, as in recent weeks, leading the defence well communicating with his fellow defenders and intervening with a tackle whenever necessary.
To change some things, coach Komphela brought in Bernard Parker for Moon in the 58th minute.
Chiefs kept pushing, even though Free State Stars also got their chances to score.
With the game already far in extra time, the match looked to end in a goalless draw, but Tshabalala’s free-kick in the 95th minute found Hadebe’s head, who brilliantly put the ball past the Free State Stars goalkeeper. It was the Zimbabwean defender’s first goal since joining Amakhosi at the beginning of the season.
The late goal meant that Chiefs were able to take the three points back home to Naturena.
Key moment in the match:
That was obviously Teenage Hadebe’s goal in the last few seconds of the game. It was also his first since becoming a Glamour Boy at the beginning of the 2017/2018 season.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Daniel Cardoso delivered again a fine performance, Itumeleng Khune made a crucial save in the first half, Leonardo Castro looked dangerous whenever receiving the ball close to the opponent’s goal, but it was Ali Sangare who was selected as the Absa Premiership Man of the Match despite conceding a late goal.
What it means:
It means that the Glamour Boys have now collected 39 points from 25 games, moving up to third position on the Absa Premiership standings, seven points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Mathoho, Cardoso, Hadebe; Mphahlele (Jayiya 82’), Katsande, Ekstein, Tshabalala, Zulu (Zuma 69’); Castro, Moon (Parker 58’)
Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Maluleka, Molangoane, Ntshangase
Free State Stars 11: Sangare; Mobbie, Keita, Mahamutsa, Phungwayo; Dlamini (Potsane 79’), Vilikazi, Masehe, Jantjie; Mthembu, Tschilimbou (Teyise 89’)
Subs not used: Ngobeni, Makhaula, Abrahams, Mashego, Makhuoane
Kaizer Chiefs will host Chippa United in an Absa Premiership fixture at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon, 7 April 2018 (kick-off is at 15:00).