Sports

Chiefs overcome AmaZulu in thriller

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The victory took Amakhosi to fifth place on the league standings, while Usuthu remained 12th on the table.

Amakhosi started brightly and they managed to take an early lead after some good work by Leonardo Castro just one minute into the match.

The striker won the ball in the hosts’ half and his shot was turned home by AmaZulu defender Marc Van Heerden, who netted an own-goal to make it 1-0 to Chiefs.

Usuthu tried to respond with a goal, but Emiliano Tade missed the target from a free-kick, before placing a low shot wide.

The Argentine striker then set up Bonginkosi Ntuli, but this pass was too strong and Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries came out to clear the ball away.

Amakhosi looked dangerous every time they pushed forward and they came close to doubling their lead six minutes before half time.

Usuthu keeper Siyabonga Mbatha had to produce a magnificent save to deny Castro, whose effort was curling into the top corner.

Chiefs were 1-0 up at the interval following a lively first half.

AmaZulu came back rejuvenated after their half-time team talk with Cavin Johnson and they managed to restore parity through Ovidy Karuru in the 61st minute.

The Zimbabwean winger scored from close range to make it 1-1 for the hosts, with Tade grabbing an assist after playing a lovely cross into the Amakhosi box.

However, Usuthu went to sleep after scoring and they were punished by Bernard Parker, who scored with a powerful right-footed shot to make it 2-1 to Chiefs.

Ernst Middendorp’s side continued to attack in search of more goals in the closing stages of the game with Willard Katsande working hard in midfield.

The Chiefs stand-in captain led by example as he netted from close range to make it 3-1 to the hosts after Usuthu had failed to clear the ball away.

It was end-to-end stuff in the dying minutes of the game and Van Heerden scored what proved to be a consolation goal for AmaZulu in stoppage time as Chiefs held on to win 3-2 in Durban.

AmaZulu (0) 2 (Karuru 61′, Van Heerden 90+3′)

Chiefs (1) 3 (Van Heerden 1′, Parker 64′, Katsande 79′)

AmaZulu: Mbatha, M.Gumede, Mabaliso, Van Heerden, Nyongo, Morton (Ramphela 81′), Vilakazi, Sithebe, Karuru (Ncobeni 73′), Tade, Ntuli (Cele 85′).

Chiefs: Vries, Moleko, Hadebe, Cardoso, Booysen (Ngezana 84), Katsande, Ekstein, Ntiya-Ntiya, Parker, Manyama (Mahlasela 54′), Castro (Billiat 73′).

© Backpagepix

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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