Kaizer Chiefs picked up three valuable points as they defeated Angolan side Petro de Luanda 2-0 in their CAF Champions League Group C encounter on Saturday evening at FNB Stadium, as they recorded their first group stage win in the competition. Mulomowandau Mathoho rose highest to head home Nkosingiphile Ngcobo’s pin-point corner from the right in the 30th minute, which proved to be the difference between the sides. Happy Mashiane with a wonderfully taking individual goal scored a second in the 79th minute to see Chiefs home to victory, after Amakhosi endured a few frustrating moments in a game they dominated.
Chiefs were frustrated by their visitors for around 20 minutes before they changed tact and opted to start moving wider. The began using the flanks to effect change and be more menacing in attack and this seemed to be helping. They were able to get the ball into the danger zone more effectively and managed to break the deadlock on the half hour mark. It was an agonising period for Chiefs as they fought to break down a resolute Petro defence which stood its ground.
Amakhosi’s probing eventually paid dividends when Ngcobo swung in a corner from the right which saw Mathoho rise above his marker Pedro and meet the ball and headed it home past a somewhat pedestrian Dominique to make it 1-0.
Mathoho had an opportunity to score a second in the final minute of the first half after a free kick from Chiefs was initially cleared by the Petro defence. The ball landed to Reeve Frosler, who sent the ball back to Mathoho standing on the edge of the edge of the 18-yard area, on the turn he struck for goal but his effort went wide of the mark. As Chiefs took a 1-0 lead into the break.
The second half began much like the first half ended with Petro opting to play deep and hit Chiefs on the counterattack. Amakhosi seemed to understand the game plan of their visitors and continued spreading the ball wide. With Philani Zulu and Frosler particularly causing problems for the Angolans who were not able to effectively deal with the pace of Chiefs’ wing play.
With all the pressure Chiefs placing on Petro, they were looking for a second insurance goal. They came within inches of doing so in the 61st minute. Another well executed corner by Ngcobo this time from the right saw Dominque come out to collect the ball. He missed it completely and it fell to the back post where a diving Daniel Cardoso headed the ball back across goal only for his attempt to crash against the upright.
Chiefs continued pushing and again had the visitors on the defensive when they broke quickly up the right wing, Lebogang Manyama played a short ball to Mashiane who unleashed a ferocious drive at goal, which had Dominique leaping to his right to make a two-handed block as he pushed the ball out for a corner.
Mashiane would get his goal in the 79th minute as he picked up a loose ball just outside the 18-yard area. He glided past a number of defenders before driving the ball with some venom beyond Dominique to put daylight between Chiefs and Petro.
Chiefs in the end doing enough to win the game and were composed in both defence and attack as they recorded a well-deserved victory, despite a number of key players missing through injury. Chiefs were able to pick up three valuable points. As Chiefs ended a run of five games without a win at home in the CAF Champions League.