Sekhukhune United (0)
Kaizer Chiefs (1) (Mphahlele 39’)
A composed first half finish from Ramahlwe Mphahlele at the second time of asking was enough to give Chiefs a 1-0 win over Sekhukhune United in their penultimate DStv Premiership clash of the season at Emirates Airlines Park (Ellis Park).
Chiefs dominated large spells of the game and rode out some entertaining offensive play from their hosts as well, doing enough to warrant a welcome win.
Amakhosi now head to their final game of the season against Swallows buoyant after this win.
Inside the opening three minutes Chiefs had the hosts defending deep and had them in desperate mode at the back as Amakhosi had a series of three successive corners, which needed some resolute defending from the hosts.
Sekhukhune also conjured up an early chance before three minutes were up. Nyiko Mobbie sent the ball into the danger zone from the right, which saw Katleho Molaba rise up and head the ball with Bruce Bvuma lunging into the air to make an acrobatic save.
The Chiefs keeper was called into action again in the 11th minute, this time standing his ground to make a routine save of a shot on the turn from distance by Vusumuzi Mncube.
The goal mouth action was end to end and in the 16th minute Leonardo Castro from the left was able to lift the ball delightfully into the hosts 18 -yard area, where Bernard Parker did well to get in front of Edwin Gyimah. He managed to make contact with the ball and glanced it with his head on target, but only into the welcoming arms of Toaster Nsabata.
On the half hour mark Khama Billiat collected a downward header from Reeve Frosler, made space for himself and drove the ball towards what looked like an empty net. Brave defending from Sekhukhune defender Sello Motsepe, however, saw him throw his body in the way and made a goal stopping block.
Nine minutes later though Chiefs were ahead as Billiat turned the ball in from a dead ball situation, which Gyimah tried to clear, his attempted headed clearance bouncing invitingly into the path of Mphahlele, whose initial header was against the cross bar, but he was quick enough to react faster than the hosts defence and turned the ball home at the second time of asking to put Chiefs 1-0 up.
An open first half ended with Chiefs 1-0 up.
On the hour mark Billiat was stopped in a one on one situation with Nsabata and shortly thereafter Sabelo Radebe deep inside Chiefs half collected a pass from Cole Alexander and ran almost the entire length of the field before making a neat lay-off to his left to Billiat, who managed to send the ball goalwards finding Radebe who had continued his run. He managed to connect with Billiat’s pin point lay-up but his attempted downward header at goal lacked power and did not test Ntsabata, who made a routine save.
Shortly after coming on as a substitute Nkanyiso Madonsela sent in a long searching ball from just in front of the halfway line and found fellow substitute Prince Nxumalo, who did well to race on and meet the ball with his head. His attempt though lacked direction and he missed the target.
Chiefs looked to extend their lead and went agonisingly close to doing so in the 74th minute, as Billiat sent a free kick beyond the Sekhukhune wall, but just wide of goal. Nsabata thwarted another one on one, blocking Chiefs substitute Lazalous Kamoble’s attempt to push the ball past him from close range, with five minute of regulation time remaining.
Chiefs held on for the win back at an iconic venue, which saw many triumphs for the club in the 1980’s and early 2000’s, and they put in a spirited performance to win their penultimate game of the season.
MVP – Ramahlwe Mphahlele was the man of the match showing composure in attack and defence. His goal settled the game and he played a commandeering role in the game. There were also strong showings from Khama Billiat who dominated the midfield and sent in telling balls to the danger area all game long. Sabelo Radebe continues to show his adaptability and class, he also made put up a good showing.
What Next – Chiefs will head back home to the FNB Stadium to host Swallows FC in their final DStv Premiership fixture of the season on the 21st May, Chiefs will play a big role in deciding where their Soweto rivals will play their football next season. As Swallows head into the game in 15th place ahead of 16th place Baroka on goal difference.
Sekhukhune XI: Nsabata (1), Mahlangu (35), Kabwe (15) (Madonsela 71’), Mobbie (42), Maart© (6), Motsepe (13), Gyimah (39), Kobela (19) (Leepile 46’), Molaba (28) (Katsande 57’), Mashumba (9) (Ohizu 60’), Mncube (7) (Nxumalo 70’),
Subs Not Used: Dlamini (30), Ledwaba (8), Chabalala (29), Parusnath (26)
Bookings: 39. E. Gyimah 36’
Coach: Macdonald Makhubedu & Owen Da Gama
Chiefs XI: Bvuma (16); Mphahlele (2), Ngezana (30), Frosler (39), Blom (45), Alexander (17) (Dube 86’), Nk Ngcobo (12) (Sekgota 67’), Parker (25), Radebe (33), Billiat (11) (Mashiane 79’), Castro (8) (Kambole 79’)
Subs Not Used: Akpeyi (40); Mathoho (3), Mabiliso (26), Nj Ngcobo (27), Agay (5)
Cautions: 17. C. Alexander 66’, 16. B. Bvuma 83’, Mphahlele 90+3’
Coach: Arthur Zwane