Chiefs win in made­for-ra­dio en­counter

CityPress - - Sport - CITY PRESS COR­RE­SPON­DENT sports@city­press.co.za

A slen­der vic­tory for Kaizer Chiefs was still bet­ter than noth­ing com­ing off the Charles Mopeli Sta­dium pitch in Phutha­ditjhaba, which is con­sid­ered one of the worst by most vis­it­ing Absa Pre­mier­ship teams.

The clearly bat­tered field looked more like an aban­doned car­pet and did not make for good TV im­ages ei­ther.

Iron­i­cally, it was the home side that came off worse for wear af­ter a freak in­jury to their goal­keeper Daouda Di­akite a few min­utes be­fore the half-time break.

The newly signed Burk­ina Faso in­ter­na­tional in­jured him­self when he launched a long ball. He had to be re­placed af­ter it was sus­pected he dam­aged his left knee lig­a­ments. His sit­u­a­tion was so se­vere, he was rushed straight to hos­pi­tal.

Di­akite had an im­pres­sive de­but for Stars un­til Ayanda Mtshali took his place.

The two sides tried in vain to show­case a de­cent pass­ing game, but the pitch’s con­di­tion was made worse by the wet and misty cli­mate as a re­sult of the cold front that swept across the coun­try yes­ter­day.

Stars’ new coach, Bel­gian-born Tom Saint­fiet, re­vealed his knowl­edge of Chiefs and their pow­er­house sta­tus dur­ing the build-up to the game.

It was clear from his tac­tics that he would have been con­tent with a point.

From the begin­ning, Stars dropped more play­ers be­hind the ball, which made it dif­fi­cult for Chiefs to in­vade their goal area.

But they soon opened up from re­lent­less Chiefs at­tacks as the game pro­gressed.

Amakhosi even­tu­ally ben­e­fited from a de­fen­sive mix-up when Ge­orge Lebese toe-poked the ball past Mtshali in the 55th minute, de­spite the at­ten­tion of Stars de­fender An­gula da Costa. The score line could have been dif­fer­ent for Chiefs had Kingston Nkhatha brought his scor­ing boots to Phutha­ditjhaba yes­ter­day.

Nonethe­less, coach Stu­art Bax­ter wel­comed the win as an ideal morale booster ahead of the team’s up­com­ing tricky en­coun­ters against Mpumalanga Black Aces on Wed­nes­day, and the MTN8 Cup semi­fi­nal first leg against bo­gey side Plat­inum Stars in Rusten­burg on Satur­day.

Match moments 15th minute:

Chiefs goal­keeper Itumeleng Khune de­fused Stars’ early scor­ing chance but Stars striker Richard Henyekane hur­ried his ef­fort when a clever chip goal­ward would have re­sulted into an open goal.

29th minute: Stars goal­keeper Daouda Di­akite showed good re­flexes when he par­ried Mandla Masango’s close blank ef­fort.

36th minute: Ge­orge Lebese went down in­side the Stars goal area, but calls for a penalty were dis­missed by ref­eree Kulisande Qongqo.

Mean­while, Polok­wane City took all three points when they beat Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria 1-0 at Tuks Sta­dium.

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