Amakhosi put on a stellar defensive display as they registered their first win of the season against the Citizens on Wednesday night
Chiefs travelled to Cape Town in search of their first win of the season and the pressure was clearly on Steve Komphela, who has experienced a disappointing start to the campaign, while City on the other hand were full of confidence ahead of the game as they looked to keep their 100 percent winning record intact.
Nonetheless, the Citizens coach was forced to make wholesale changes going into the encounter. Coach McCarthy made six changes to his line-up and most notably, was without stalwart Roland Putsche, who missed the clash through injury.
Meanwhile, Steve Komphela was forced into making several changes of his own as injuries and suspensions hampered Amakosi’s preparations. Eric Mathoho was suspended for the clash, while Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Tsepo Masilela were nursing long-term injuries. But there was some respite for Komphela as Itumeleng Khune returned to the starting XI.
Going into the clash, City were regarded as the league’s form team and that certainly showed as the home side looked to assert their authority from the onset. City looked dangerous, and with seven minutes on the clock, Teko Modise saw his curling shot from outside the area go just over Chiefs’ goal. That would be the veterans only real contribution of the game as he was eventually withdrawn in the 18th minute due to a niggling injury.
Although, the Mother City-based outfit looked lively for most of the opening stanza, they did not trouble Khune, but they were unlucky not to have fallen behind. Chiefs had a glorious chance to break the deadlock early on after a beautiful Chiefs build-up left Philani Zulu with the goal at his mercy.
However, the full-back fluffed his attempt, before Kgotso Moleko failed to direct the resultant rebound on target. The game had opened up considerably, which entertained the healthy Capetonian crowd in attendance, and despite City dominating possession, it was Chiefs with the better of the chances. Once again, McCarthy’s troops rode their luck as former City winger Bhongolwethu Jayiya saw his effort cannon off the woodwork from close range. With five minutes to go before half-time, Chiefs had one final opportunity to find the opener, but Siphiwe Tshabalala’s shot was easily dealt with by Sage Stephens as both sides went into the break level.
The second half saw Chiefs continue to look the more threatening and they were eventually rewarded for their perseverance. Tshabalala showed great composure as he slotted the ball home from inside the City box, giving Chiefs a deserved lead.
The goal awakened the City attack and Mpho Matsi threatened Khune’s goal with a strike which went just wide off goal. Minutes later, the Bafana Bafana keeper was finally called into action as he denied Sibusiso Masina’s low drive. City began to fashion a number of goal scoring opportunities and the influential Ayanda Patosi thought he had found the equaliser as his deflected free kick wrong footed Khune, but the ball went just over Khune’s goal.
Nonetheless, at the other end George Maluleka came agonisingly close to doubling Chiefs’ advantage but Robyn Johannes made an exceptional block to deny the midfielder a certain goal. Khune was having to put in a real shift during the second half as he made a fantastic double save to deny Lehlohonolo Majoro. City threw everything at Chiefs’ defence and if it wasn’t for Khune the script could have been so different.
Nevertheless, with just under 10 minutes to go, Chiefs found the decisive goal through debutant Wiseman Meyiwa. The youngster’s goal saw City’s heads drop as Chiefs held on for their very first win of the season and resigned City to their first defeat of the campaign.
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