Kaizer Chiefs (0) 2 (Ngezana 50’, Parker 71’)
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 1 (Zwane 82’, penalty)
Kaizer Chiefs beat Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 in a cracker of an Absa Premiership match played at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday evening. Young debutant Siyabonga Ngezana scored the opener early in the second half, while Bernard Parker added a second in the 71st minute. Themba Zwane countered for the home side from the penalty spot.
The kick-off of the game was delayed with 20 minutes to 19:50 to allow more people to enter the stadium, as there was heavy congestion at the turnstiles. Over 30 000 spectators attended the game, which created a magnificent atmosphere.
Ngezana made his Chiefs debut, joining Erick Mathoho and Lorenzo Gordinho in the centre of defence. The 20-year-old impressed for Amakhosi’s reserve side in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) this season.
Sundowns started as the better side, trying to create some opportunities to open the score, but the Glamour Boys kept it tight at the back. Ngezana showed that he was far from overawed with the occasion, playing well.
The first chance came for Bernard Parker, but he failed to hit the target.
Willard Katsande was, as usual, fighting in midfield, winning numerous challenges.
The home side, however, tried to push on, getting a few opportunities. But Itumeleng Khune was alert when needed.
Sundowns tried to continue with their possession play in the second half, but it was Amakhosi that took the lead in the 50th minute, with debutant Ngezana heading in an excellent free-kick from George Maluleka.
That was the moment that Brazilians coach Pitso Mosimane decided to bring on Oupa Manyisa for Sibusiso Vilikazi.
Chiefs defended in numbers, continuing to close the space early every time a Sundowns player got the ball. It meant that the home side got few to no goalscoring opportunities inside the Amakhosi box, with most shots at goal coming from outside the box.
Erick Mathoho and Daniel Cardoso both did a sterling job in defence, while on the other side Parker was lively and looking threatening whenever Chiefs were counter-attacking. Tshabalala, meanwhile, delivered a true captain’s performance, showing again that he’s far from finished.
It was ‘Die Hond’ Parker who extended the lead in the 71st minute after receiving an excellent through-ball from Hendrick Ekstein. The striker received the ball in the air with his right, tucked inside, before neatly slotting the ball behind the Sundowns goalkeeper into the back of the net.
It was Parker’s first goal this season and it was a beauty.
Four minutes later, the home side went one man down when Motjeka Madisha was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Sundowns did score in the end, but it had to come from the penalty spot after defender Mathoho brought down Percy Tau in the box. Themba Zwane netted from the spot.
Thereafter, the Brazilians tried to press for the equaliser, but there weren’t any real clear-cut chances forthcoming.
It was a brilliant win of the Glamour Boys in an enthralling encounter.
Key moment in the match:
That must be the moment when the 20-year-old debutant, Siyabonga Ngezana scored the opening goal of the game, excellently moving towards the second goalpost, before heading the ball into the goal from close range.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
There were a few candidates and Bernard Parker must have been amongst them. However, in the end, the Absa Premiership Man of the Match award was deservedly handed over to Siyabonga Ngezana, who had an outstanding game in defence, winning numerous balls and allowing his opponent no space.
What it means:
It means that Kaizer Chiefs are now in fifth position on the Absa Premiership log, having as much points as Saturday’s opponents, Orlando Pirates. Both sides are on 12 points, although Amakhosi have played 8 matches, while the Buccaneers will play their 8thleague game on Wednesday.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Cardoso, Mathoho, Ngezana, Zulu; Tshabalala (Meyiwa 90’), Katsande, Maluleka, Molangoane; Ekstein (Zuma 79’), Parker (Chirambadare 90+4’)
Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Jayiya, Buchanan, Twala
Mamelodi Sundowns 11: Onyango; Morena, Arendse (Lebese 87’), Madisha, Langerman; Vilikazi (Manyisa 52’), Mabunda, Kekana, Zwane; Tau, Billiat (Malajila 83’)
Subs not used: Brimah, Soumahoro, Ngcongca, Hachi
Next Match: Kaizer Chiefs will next host the Soweto Derby in an Absa Premiership fixture at FNB Stadium on Saturday, 21 October (kick-off is at 15:30).