Marumo Gallants (0) 0
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 0
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi made a handful of match-defining saves as Amakhosi drew 0-0 with Marumo Gallants in their DStv Premiership at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
Both teams had a player sent off in the second half to finish the game with 10 men apiece. For Chiefs, Sifiso Hlanti picked up a second yellow card in the 75th minute, while the hosts had Celimpilo Ngema sent off for a red card offence, after he kicked the ball at Khama Billiat in the 80th minute.
Chiefs started with a different goalkeeper for the third league game in a row, with Daniel Akpeyi replacing Brandon Petersen. The Nigerian shot stopper repaid the faith shown in him by making a splendid save in the 14th minute, diving to the right to push away a powerful header from close range by Katlego Otladisa, after he had connected with a cross from the right by Mpho Mvelase.
With little in the way of goalmouth action, the hosts opted to go for goal from range and just past the half hour mark Celimpilo Ngema let fly from distance with a powerful shot at goal.
Again Akpeyi managed to get behind the ball and given the power of the shot – while he was unable to grab the ball with his hands – he did manage to block the shot bravely with his chest in averting the danger.
Seven minutes before half time Cole Alexander managed to work some space for himself before going for goal around 25 yards from goal, his effort though sailed just over the Gallants cross bar as the first half ended 0-0.
In the second half Khama Billiat tested his fellow countryman, Washington Arubi, with a freekick in the 58th minute, as he managed to send the ball over the Gallants wall, but the home team’s keeper was able to make a routine save.
Chiefs were forced to finish the game with ten men after Sifiso Hlanti was giving a second caution for pulling back Otladisa on the right flank. He left the field, picking up a red card, after he had earlier been cautioned for a studs up tackle.
From the resulting free kick, taken by Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo, the ball was sent curling towards the danger zone where Thabo Mnyemane was able to flick the ball with his head towards goal. Akpeyi again, though, came up trumps, putting out a hand and pushing the ball onto his right hand upright and away from danger.
The hosts were themselves reduced to ten men for the final ten minutes of the game after Ngema smashed a dead ball into Billiat as he lay prone on the ground, which drew an angry reaction from Bernard Parker before Ngema was eventually shown his marching orders.
In the final minute of the game Chiefs could have grabbed all three points. Parker was felled on the left side of the Gallants 18 yard area and Billiat floated in the resulting free kick, which grazed the head of Mulomowandau Mathoho, but Arubi managed to lift the ball over his goal for a corner.
From the resulting corner, the ball was sent in from the left by Billiat and Arubi came out and missed it, as it fell at the far post to Daniel Cardoso, whose close-range header missed the target to give the hosts a major let-off late in the game.
In the end the teams shared the spoils, not what Amakhosi would have wanted as they now turn their attention to their next league encounter against Amazulu in Durban on Saturday.
Number of the game: 779 – This was Chiefs 779th league game in the DStv Premiership since the founding of the Premier Soccer League in 1996.
Fact of the Game – Marumo Gallants are the eighth different team from the Limpopo Province that Chiefs have faced in a league game in the PSL. They have only faced more teams from Gauteng.
MVP – Daniel Akpeyi was clearly Chiefs star man, as he made three huge saves which ensured Amakhosi’s goal was not breached. He was aided by some good defensive work from Cardoso and Hlanti, before the latter was sent off.
What next – Kaizer Chiefs will travel to KwaZulu Natal to face Amazulu in their next league game on the 2nd October, with kick off at 15h30.
Gallants: 36. W. Arubi, 11. K. Otladisa (3. E. Manaka 80’), 19. N. Ravhuhali, 2. A. Nkili, 18. L. Nonyane, 10. C. Ngema, 20. N. Ndlondlo (5. L. Mabotja 90+5’), 33. S. Dion (28. L. Koapeng 65’), 23. T. Mnyamane, 6. M. Timm ( 30. S. Kumalo 90+5’), 24. M. Mvelase.
Substitutes Not Used: 16. K. Ndlovu, 4. S. Hlatshwayo, 12. T. Khiba, 22. T. Thangwane, 15. M. Monde.
Cautions: 11. K. Otladis 72’, 24. M. Mvelase
Red Card: C. Ngema
Coach: Sebastien Migne
Chiefs: 40. D. Akpeyi, 39. R. Frosler, 23. S. Hlanti, 3. E. Mathoho, 4. D. Cardoso, 45. N. Blom, 17. C. Alexander, 12. Nk. Ngcobo (7. L. Kambole 90+1’), 21. L. Manyama (25. B. Parker 46’), 10. K. Dolly, 11. K. Billiat.
Substitutes Not Used: 1. B. Petersen, 27. Nj. Ngcobo, 26. S. Mabiliso, 29. T. Dube, 6. K. Baccus, 5. A. Agay, 19. H. Mashiane.
Coach: Stuart Baxter
Cautions: 21. L. Manyama 22’, 23. S. Hlanti 27’
Red Cards: 23. S. Hlanti 75’