Lebogang Manyama netted his first goal for Kaizer Chiefs who retained the Macufe Cup title following a 2-0 victory against Steve Komphela’s Bloemfontein Celtic outfit at the Free State Stadium, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
The Soweto giants are the current champions of the two-team spectacle after claiming the 2017 edition under then Chiefs mentor Komphela following a 4-2 victory against Phunya Sele Sele.
Both teams will look to use the encounter to bounce back from respective league losses against Free State Stars and Polokwane City.
Chiefs went into the clash minus the likes of Itumeleng Khune, Teenage Hadebe, Godfrey Walusimbi, Virgil Vries, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Khama Billiat due to their involvement with their respective national teams.
The home side were presented with the first chance of the game as Vuyisile Moloisane’s freekick brought out the best in Chiefs goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma after five minutes.
Chiefs gradually got into their rhythym and started seeing more possesssion of the ball. The visitors should have opened the scoring when George Maluleka played Lebogang Manyama through on goal, but the former Cape Town City man failed to direct his effort on target.
Solinas’ side had the ball in the back of the net in the 17th minute when Willard Katsande rose highest to head home, however the linesman incorrectly disallowed the goal
Chiefs eventually opened the scoring in the 36th minute when he made no mistake from within the area, rifling home with his left foot after a great pass from Kabelo Mahlasela.
Celtic had their best opportunity of the game on the stroke of half time when Bvuma made himself big to block Jacky Motshegwa’s shot, before following up to block Victor Letsoalo’s goalbound rebound.
Komphela’s side consolidated themselves and gave a much better showing of themselves in the second stanza, particularly in attacking areas.
Chiefs loanee Lorenzo Gordinho was brought on in the second half for Celtic who upped their efforts at finding a goal. They nearly equalised in the 51st minute when a good interchange of play saw the ball fall for Letsoalo, but his effort came off the upright.
The intensity in Chiefs’ game dropped as they look to manage the game with Manyama and Maluleka pulling the strings in the midfield.
Amakhosi made a double change in the 65th minute as Gustavo Paez and Bhongolethu Jayiya made way for Bernard Parker and Dumisani Zuma respectively.
Zuma almost made an immediate impact when he latched onto a fine ball from Parker, but his goalbound effort was cleared off the line by Wandile Letlabika.
Hendrik Ekstein, Philani Zulu and Ntshangase made a late cameo appearances for Chiefs.
Parker, who proved brilliant since his arrival unselfishly laid off the ball to Zuma who made no mistake from within the area.
Photo: Gallo Images