Keagan Dolly was at his best on Wednesday evening as he inspired Kaizer Chiefs to their first win of the new DStv Premiership season at FNB Stadium.
CAPE TOWN – After the pains of last year’s frustrations in the Dstv Premiership that led to the Amakhosi supporters marching to the club’s offices in Naturena, the Kaizer Chiefs faithful can start smiling again after a 2-1 win over Baroka FC.
There were times, particularly during the first half of Wednesday’s match, that the applause and vuvuzelas from the empty FNB Stadium stands could almost be heard purring in appreciation every time new signing Keagan Dolly touched the ball.
Dolly’s vision is unparalleled in South African domestic football and the 28-year-old through his movement, understanding of angles and beautifully precise passes raised Chiefs to a level where they were playing the champagne football of years gone by.
Baroka simply could not live with Chiefs, and in particular Dolly, in this rampant mood. From the moment Dolly signed from French League 1 club Montpellier ahead of the new season, Chiefs supporters – in fact all South African football fans – were anxiously waiting to see whether his arrival at Naturena would reinvigorate striker Khama Billiat after a previously disappointing campaign.
The reunion of two-thirds of the magical ‘CBD’ strikeforce was certainly rekindled in that opening 45 minutes with Dolly teeing up his old Mamelodi Sundowns teammate with plentiful scoring opportunities.
Billiat took advantage of one, with the pass actually coming from Njabulo Blom on that occasion, as Chiefs roared into the lead within the first 10 minutes. By that stage Bernard Parker had already missed a chance with the gaping Baroka goal staring back at him after an early Masuluke Oscarine error.
Chiefs doubled their lead after 27 minutes when central defender Daniel Cardoso showed great dexterity to turn his body and head into an awkward position to deflect a Sifiso Hlanti cross into the far corner.
At that stage the only remaining question seemed to be, how badly did Chiefs want to carve up Baroka for the visitors’ goal was now under siege?
Billiat should have killed off this contest over the course of the remaining 10 minutes leading up to half-time with the Zimbabwean hitting the upright and also going past both posts that drew a wry smile from Baxter as the Englishman knew his team should have been enjoying at least a five-goal advantage at the interval.
Chiefs’ lack of calmness in front of goal almost came back to haunt the home side after Baroka regrouped in the second half, as the visitors found a way to neutralise the ball getting to Dolly, who was eventually substituted for Austin Dube.
They even found some rhythm of their own and managed to half the deficit when substitute Denwin Farmer struck a sweetly timed shot into the bottom corner of Bruce Bvuma’s net.
Baroka certainly provided Chiefs with some tense moments in the dying moments and could have levelled up the game when Richard Mbulu’s diving header ricocheted off the post and Farmer had two further opportunities to net a brace and the equaliser, but it was ultimately to be Chiefs’ night to smile again.