Kaizer Chiefs secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Maritzburg United in the DStv Premiership match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday night.
Despite the victory, Amakhosi remained sixth on the league standings – level on points with fourth-placed SuperSport United, while the Team of Choice also remained 11th on the log.
The match got off to a lively start with Amakhosi threatening first when Njabulo Ngcobo headed over the crossbar from close range after connecting with Khama Billiat’s delightful cross.
The Team of Choice responded by applying some pressure on the visitors and Richard Zumah unleashed a low shot which was well-saved by goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi in the 15th minute.
Maritzburg sat back and allowed Chiefs to dominate possession and try to hit the visitors on the counter through their speedy attackers Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Richard Zumah and Amadou Soukouna.
Travis Graham played a through pass for Zumah, who outpaced his marker, but the Ghanaian forward scuffled his shot which went straight into Akpeyi’s hands in the 33rd minute and the score was 0-0 at halftime.
Chiefs came back rejuvenated following their halftime team talk with coach Stuart Baxter and their deadly attackers Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly became combining well in the hosts’ half.
The deadlock was broken in the 63rd minute when Dolly played a pass to Billiat, who then whipped a quality cross for Bernard Parker and the 35-year-old attacker scored with a header to make it 1-0 to Chiefs.
Maritzburg head coach Ernst Middendorp reacted by introducing attackers Leletu Skelem and Rowan Human, who forced Akpeyi into a fine low save with 12th minutes left on the clock.
Baxter responded by introducing defensive midfielder Anthony Akumu and Chiefs contained Maritzburg in the dying minutes of the game and ultimately, the Soweto giants ran out 1-0 winners over Maritzburg.
Maritzburg United 0Kaizer Chiefs 1 (Parker 63′)TEAMS:
Maritzburg United:Engelhardt, Claasen, Ndengane, Ritchie, Zumah, Ntshangase, Kewuti, Graham (Skelem 73′), Allie, B. Hlongwane (Zumah 58′), Soukouna (Human 73′).
Kaizer Chiefs: Akpeyi, Njabulo Ngcobo, Mathoho, Cardoso, Mphahlele, Frosler, Alexander (Akumu 83′), Nange (Sekgota 75′), Parker, Dolly (Castro 86′), Billiat.© Backpage TXT