Home Sport Kaizer Chiefs unable to conquer 10-man Cape Town City

Kaizer Chiefs unable to conquer 10-man Cape Town City

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Despite enjoying the numerical advantage for the entire second half, the Kaizer Chiefs were unable to claw their way back into the game.

Keanu Cupido of Cape Town City and Dillan Solomons of Kaizer Chiefs fight for the ball during the DStv Premiership match at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg
Keanu Cupido of Cape Town City and Dillan Solomons of Kaizer Chiefs fight for the ball during the DStv Premiership match at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 20 May 2023. Picture: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

Cape Town – Kaizer Chiefs were incomprehensibly poor again on Saturday when they ran up a record 12 defeats in a season after going down 1-0 to 10-man Cape Town City in their final DStv Premiership match of the season.

Despite enjoying the numerical advantage for the entire second half, the Chiefs were unable to claw their way back into the game. Towards the end of the match, City came within a whisker of notching a second goal after their speedy incursions were proving hard to contain deep inside Chiefs’ half.

Chiefs who had a score to settle after City won their first-round clash 2-0 in the Mother City earlier in the season, were forced to make a late change after goalkeeper Brandon Peterson suffered an 11th-hour injury. Peterson has played a little over 50% of the games this season.

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The veteran shot-stopper, Itumeleng Khune who has over 266 caps for Chiefs was called up in his place, and regular keeper Bruce Bvuma remained on the bench.

Khune’s appearance may well have been the 35-year-old AmaKhosi’s swansong as his contract is about to expire and the club is in the process of rebuilding.

The big surprise on the Chiefs team sheet was the inclusion of former Zimbabwe international Khama Billiat who made his first appearance since October last year. He has been in the spotlight of late because he is on the radar of Tanzanian football giants, Young Africans, who are keen to sign him.

City was full of life at the start and made several runs into the opposition half creating early opportunities. City seemed to lose their way in the final third although Chiefs made heavy weather of clearing their lines.

Chiefs’ demeanour was typical of what coach Arthur Zwane has often described as a “slow start” in the opening stages. Khune made a save after a sixth-minute header by City striker Khanyisa Mayo who did well to connect with a free-kick taken by his Venezuelan teammate Darwin González.

Mayo would have regretted that miss because it might have seen him lose out on winning the Golden Boot outright. Coming into the match, Mayo tops the goal-scoring charts with Mamelodi Sundowns striker Peter Shalulile, each with 12 goals.

However, City’s pressure produced a goal three minutes after two lengthy throw-ins by City defender Mark van Heerden into the Chiefs’ penalty area. Chiefs’ defence failed to deal adequately with the second throw-in and was punished.

City’s central defender Taariq Fielies who was up in the striking zone to connect with the thrown-in latched on to the bouncing ball and fed midfielder Mduduzi Mdantsane who calmly struck the ball with pinpoint accuracy past a maze of legs to find the net (1-0).

The setback did sting Chiefs into a fightback but by the time referee Moses Kheswa blew for halftime, City’s slender 1-0 lead remained intact. This was after the mean Fielies was red-carded for a harsh tackle on the Chiefs’ left-wing Ashley du Preez in the 34th minute.

To shore up their defence in their 10-man combination, City decided to sacrifice Mdantsane and replaced him with Thamsanqa Mkhize.

Du Preez carried on gingerly but made way for Billiat just before halftime. Billiat did not see much action later as he cried off injured early in the second half and was replaced by Mduduzi Shabalala.

After 45 minutes of second-half play, defence triumphed over attack and the 1-0 halftime scoreline turned out to be the final scoreline.

For the first time in history, City completed a league double over Chiefs, who will finish in fifth place on the log, one spot below City in fourth.

@Herman_Gibbs

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