Leopards and Chiefs play to a stalemate

13 April 2019

Kaizer Chiefs                                (1) 1 (Andrianamarinana 11’)

Black Leopards                             (1) 1 (Hlongwane 23’)

Kaizer Chiefs and Black Leopards shared the points in an Absa Premiership match played at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Dax Andrianarimanana netted the first goal of the game, and his first in Chiefs colours, before the home side equalised. The final score was 1-1.

Coach Ernst Middendorp decided to make several changes for the Leopards encounter in comparison to previous weekend’s clash against Baroka FC.

Reeve Frosler, was handed his Chiefs debut, while Daniel Akpeyi was selected as the goalkeeper ahead of Bruce Bvuma.

Lorenzo Gordinho also returned to the line-up, assisting Mario Booysen and Daniel Cardoso in central defence.

Amakhosi started positively, playing at a good pace.

It resulted in an early goal in the 11th minute. There was some great combination play between Khama Billiat, Willard Katsande, Bernard Parker and Kabelo Mahlasela, before the ball ended at the feet of Andrianarimanana, who neatly finished from inside the box.

It was the Malagasy midfielder’s first goal wearing the Gold and Black jersey and it was an important one, giving his side the lead.

Chiefs continued to put pressure on the Leopards defence, looking for the second goal.

However, instead of the Glamour Boys extending their lead, the home side equalised. Lifa Hlongwane rose high up and headed the ball past Akpeyi into the back of the net in the 23rd minute, 1-1.

It appeared as if Hlongwane’s goal should have been disallowed due to offside, but the assistant referee didn’t raise the flag and the referee allowed the goal to stand.

Leopards even got a chance to take the lead soon thereafter, but Mario Booysen made a brilliant tackle in the box to cut out the danger.

Chiefs, on the other hand, continued to dominate the game. Billiat was working hard up-front, although he wasn’t always well protected by the referee against the at times overly harsh tackles from the opponent’s defenders.

There was a great atmosphere at the sold-out Thohoyandou Stadium.

The half-time score was 1-all.

Both sides played positive attacking football in the second half, looking for a goal.

Bernard Parker assisted Billiat well in attack, while Frosler had a fine performance on debut on the left wing.

Another who showed good form was Kabelo Mahlasela, who not only set-up the goal for Andrianarimanana, but looked threatening whenever in possession of the ball.

Coach Middendorp brought on Philani Zulu for Frosler in the 60th minute.

Billiat continued to be a danger up-front, with Chiefs also creating several corners in the second half, even though they didn’t result in any real goalscoring opportunities.

Ryan Moon come on for Mahlasela, who suffered from cramps, in the 75th minute, to bolster the attack.

It was a much improved performance from Chiefs compared to last week. In the end, however, no goals were added in the second half and the match finished in a 1-all draw.

Key moment in the match:

The key moment of the match was probably Black Leopards’ equaliser in the first half. The goal appeared offside, but it stood because the assistant referee didn’t raise the flag.

Most Valuable Player (MVP):

Dax Andrianarimanana had another good game in central midfield, while Khama Billiat, despite not at his best, regularly made life difficult for the Black Leopards defence. Kabelo Mahlasela also delivered a fine performance. It was, somewhat surprisingly, the home side’s Lifa Hlongwane was selected as the Absa Premiership Man of the Match.

What it means:

It means that Kaizer Chiefs remain in seventh position on the Absa Premiership log, having collected 37 points from 26 matches.

Kaizer Chiefs 11: Akpeyi; Booysen, Cardoso, Gordinho; Mphahlele, Andrianarimanana, Katsande, Mahlasela (Moon 75’), Frosler (Zulu 60’); Billiat, Parker

Subs not used: Bvuma, Ntshangase, Ngezana, Blom, Thibedi

Black Leopards 11: Ndlovu; Munyai, Katjiukua, Munganga, Zulu; Mudau (Mhlongo 64’), Masalesa, Bereng (Kapinga 76’), Hlongwane; Tshepe (Sekotlong 90’), Musonda

Subs not used: Muleka, Ndou, Ngambi, Mahangwahaya

Next Match:

Kaizer Chiefs will travel to Port Elizabeth to face Chippa United in the Nedbank Cup semi-final at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, 20 April. Kick-off is at 20:15.