Home Sport Mojo back for Kaizer Chiefs as they beat Royal AM in Polokwane

Mojo back for Kaizer Chiefs as they beat Royal AM in Polokwane

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Two second-half goals saw Kaizer Chiefs secure their first-ever win over Royal AM in Sunday’s Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

Mxolisi Macuphu of Royal AM is challenged by Ashley Du Preez of Kaizer Chiefs during their Dstv Premiership match at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday
Mxolisi Macuphu of Royal AM is challenged by Ashley Du Preez of Kaizer Chiefs during their Dstv Premiership match at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday. Picture: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

Polokwane — A hoodoo that was threatening to make a mockery of Kaizer Chiefs’ standing as the aristocrats of South African football has been broken.

Sunday’s maiden win over the Premiership’s flamboyant outfit from KZN following three previous losses could go a long way towards ensuring the success of Amakhosi’s rebuilding project.

Coming as it did on the back of a three-match losing streak, the victory is just what coach Arthur Zwane and his team needed to put some spark into yet another disappointing season that will not see them ending their seven-year trophy drought.

With Sundowns set to retain their Premiership title, the rest of the teams are merely playing for second spot.

And though still a bit far behind, Chiefs will have some hope they can still challenge for the remaining Caf Champions League spot.

But to achieve that they will need to be much more clinical going forward.

They won via a set-piece goal, Keagan Dolly delivered sweetly from the left side for Siffiso Hlanti to head home. And late in the match, newcomer Christian Sails was the toast of his teammates when he created the second goal for Ashley Du Preez.

Yet such was their play that Chiefs should have won by more than that solitary strike.

Buoyed on by a typically good Polokwane crowd, Chiefs stated sprightly and peppered the Royal AM goals with potshots.

Mduduzi Shabalala made a vain attempt at lofting the ball over an advancing Hugo Nyame in the visitors’ goals.

It looked as though their game plan would be disrupted when the right-back had to leave the field off a stretcher following an injury as early as the sixth minute. But Chiefs continued to be dominant although there was a lot of ball turnover in the middle of the park with both team giving possession away cheaply.

The hosts then nearly took the lead on two occasions within a minute when Siyethemba Sithebe weaved his way into the box on the quarter-hour mark, but had his shot from an awkward angle saved by Nyame.

Almost immediately thereafter, Hlanti blasted the ball rugby style as Chiefs piled on the pressure.

Seemingly content to play on the transition, Royal AM looked threatening whenever they made a foray into the hosts’ territory, with Mfundo Thikazi particularly dangerous. Twice he threatened Brandon Petersen’s goal, shooting over on 18 minutes and then against the netting on 20 minutes as the rain came down and the lights went off at the former World Cup venue to force a 15-minute stoppage.

Royal AM returned from the break more energised and purposeful in their attacks, though none of them yielded the desired result.

The second half started just like the first with Chiefs on the front foot and threatening Nyame. Captain Dolly saw his low shot from close range go straight to the opposition’s goalkeeper as Chiefs looked to please their vociferous supporters.

Tired of his team’s profligacy, Zwane brought on new signing Christian Saile to replace Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana.

Zwane had said in the build-up that they expect the 21-year-old Congolese striker to score like he did for his previous club.

He was instrumental in creating the second goal scored by Du Preez.

@Tshiliboy

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