Kaizer Chiefs got back to winning ways with a 3-2 victory over AmaZulu in their Absa Premiership encounter on Wednesday night at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
Chiefs came into the game looking to continue climbing the table after beating log leaders Bidvest Wits last time out in the league. They suffered defeat in the Caf Confederations Cup against Zesco United however, and had little time after travelling back from Zambia on Sunday.
AmaZulu, who haven’t beaten Chiefs in 12 years, were looking to rediscover their form from the back end of 2017 after picking up just two points from two games in 2018.
The Amakhosi beat Usuthu 2-0 in the first encounter of the season and were hoping for the same result this time round to move up from their sixth position, while Cavin Johnson’s team were also desperate for points in order to stay above the league’s bottom two.
Chiefs started with Khama Billiat on the bench, as Middendorp clearly had one eye on the big upcoming Caf Confederation Cup game against Zesco.
The Soweto giants got off to the perfect start as they took the lead inside the first minute. It was a comedy of errors from the Usuthu backline, as at first Siyabonga Mbatha had his clearance charged down, then the Colombian placed a hit past the keeper which struck the upright before hitting Marc van Heerden and trickling in.
Johnson’s team, however, responded well as they went in search for the equaliser, with Emiliano Tade and Siyethemba Sithebe in particular causing the Amakhosi defence problems.
Both sides were carving openings, but could not create clear-cut chances, with only Castro’s long-range effort just before the break testing Mbatha in the AmaZulu goal.
1-0 at the break as Chiefs looked to press home their advantage in the second stanza.
The side from the KZN came out fighting in the second stanza and bagged themselves an equaliser on the 60 minute mark. Some lovely interplay between the frontline saw Tade slipping in behind, then steadying himself before providing an inch-perfect cross, handing Ovidy Karuru a simple tap in.
Parity did not last long, as Chiefs went up the other end six minutes later to restore their lead. Bernard Parker showed great strength and tenacity to keep the ball under control in the box, before smashing his strike into the roof on the net from a tight angle. 2-1 after 66 minutes.
Chiefs then looked to have wrapped up the game in the 79th minute when Willard Katsande reacted quickest to poke home after AmaZulu failed to clear their lines from a corner.
Johnson’s men, however, were not going down without a fight as they pulled a goal by Siyabonga Mbatha with seven minutes to play.
It was too late for Usuthu, though, whose torrid run against the Soweto giants continues.
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