9 March 2019
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Zuma 50’)
Maritzburg United (0) 0
Dumsani Zuma’s solitary strike proved to be enough as Kaizer Chiefs overcame a stubborn Maritzburg United to earn a 1-0 victory in an Absa Premiership encounter played at FNB Stadium on Saturday night.
Bruce Bvuma started in goal for the Glamour boys. The shot-stopper’s last league match appearance was during the 2-2 draw against Celtic in August 2018. The young goalkeeper was tested as early as the first minute. Mohau Mokate cut in from the left and followed up with a low shot but Bvuma was equal to the task.
The 3rd minute saw Leonardo Castro’s left-footed attempt saved by Richard Ofori. Bernard Parker was on hand to capitalise off Ofori’s spill but could not guide the rebound home as the ball went into the side netting.
Khama Billiat, back in the line-up after missing the victory over Highlands Park, was having a quiet night as opportunities were limited. A chance came his way in the 20th minute as a Ramahlwe Mphahlele long ball found him in a goal scoring position but his control let him down.
Looking to make an impression against his former club, Philani Zulu was taken off in the 26th minute as Willard Katsande came on to make his first appearance since coming on as a substitute in the Soweto Derby draw a month ago.
Relegation threatened Maritzburg United tried desperately to create chances as Bvuma continued to have an excellent night. He pulled off an expert save in the 35th minute to his right to again deny Mokate from scoring what appeared to be a certain goal.
A 44th minute goal mouth scramble saw Billiat challenge for an aerial ball and rise above Ofori to the head ball goalwards but a Maritzburg United defender was on hand to clear on the line. Zuma’s rebounded effort was also cleared off the line.
The sides headed into the break goalless.
At the beginning of the second half, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo came on to replace Billiat who was experiencing some discomfort from clashing with Ofori ahead off that goalmouth scramble just before half-time.
The elusive goal finally arrived as Zuma struck in the 50th minute after being set up by Castro. His second goal in successive matches was a beauty that struck the top right-hand corner and out of Ofori’s reach.
Amakhosi appeared to be in the mood after Zuma’s goal as they looked to double their lead six minutes later as Mphahlele delivered a cross which Castro could not convert.
Castro was on hand to score again in the 69th minute as he tried to deceive Ofori with an angled shot but the Maritzburg United keeper tipped over to deny the Colombian.
In the 71st minute, George Maluleka had a chance to score from outside the box, but he couldn’t convert from a range he knows all too well.
With the clock running out, Maritzburg United tried to find a way back into the match. Bvuma did well to continuously thwart the Maritzburg advances as the visitors chased in vain for an equaliser.
Ryan Moon was the third and final change for Chiefs as he replaced Castro in the 80th minute. His chance arrived shortly after as Mphahlele found him at the near post in the 84th minute but his shot was calmly met by Ofori. That would prove to be the final chance as Zuma’s goal proved to be the decider.
Key moment in the match:
A neat passing interchange which eventually had Leonardo Castro holding the ball up and waiting for an onrushing Dumsani Zuma before laying off was the key moment in the match. All Zuma had to do from that point was to place the ball in the net as the weight of Castro’s pass was perfect.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Bruce Bvuma did well to earn his first league clean sheet. Dumsani Zuma and Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya made the left flank their own. Kgotso Moleko did an excellent job marshalling the defence. Leonardo Castro walked away with the Absa Man of the Match award after being a consistent threat and setting up the eventual winner.
What it means:
Amakhosi have secured back-to-back wins in the Absa Premiership. They now occupy sixth position on the log with 35 points from 23 matches.
Kaizer Chiefs’ XI: Bvuma; Mphahlele, Moleko, Cardoso; Ntiya-Ntiya, Maluleka, Zulu (Katsande 26’), Zuma; Billiat (Ngcobo 46’); Parker (captain), Castro (Moon 80’)
Subs not used: Akpeyi, Frosler, Booysen, Ngezana
Head coach: Ernst Middendorp
Maritzburg’s XI: Ofori; Xulu, Kunene, Allie, Sanoka; Makaringe, Timm, Shandu (Mekoa 57’), Ndlovu; Zakri (Katerregga 69’), Mokate (58’ Moseamedi)
Subs not used: Mpandle, Figareido, Matsi, Kutumela
Head coach: Erick Tinkler
Kaizer Chiefs will travel to Mbombela Stadium to face SuperSport United in an Absa Premiership encounter before the FIFA break. The match will be played on Friday, 15 March with kick-off scheduled for 20:00.