July 20, 2024

Has Kaizer Chiefs Turned The Corner?

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The home side began the match with high intensity and lots of running looking to unsettle Spurs.

FILE PHOTO: Kaizer Chiefs attacker Christian Saile Basomboli celebrates after scoring a winner for Kaizer Chiefs. PICTURE: Kaizer Chiefs/X

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JOHANNESBURG: Chiefs displayed one of their best performance of the season.

Kaizer Chiefs interim coach Cavin Johnson picked up his first win in a thrilling five-goal match against Cape Town Spurs at an empty FNB Stadium last night. Chiefs, who displayed one of their best performances, walked away as the 3-2 victors against the newcomers who are already languishing in a relegation zone.

Amakhosi were playing without their 12th men on the stands following a guilty verdict and were ordered by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) to play behind closed doors as a punishment for their fans’ violent conduct towards former head coach Molefi Ntseki.

It was up to the benches of both clubs to cheer and make noise for the players on the field while the empty stadium loomed in the background. The home side began the match with high intensity and lots of running looking to unsettle Spurs, who picked up their first win after nine attempts this season against Chiefs’ archrivals, Orlando Pirates, last week.

So the Urban Warriors had confidence heading to the match, but Chiefs quickly unsettled them by scoring two goals within 25 minutes. Edson Castillo scored the opener and Ranga Chivaviro netted the second.

As the match progressed, the visitors, who saw less of the ball due to Chiefs’ dominance, pulled one back three minutes before the half time when Luvuyo Phewa finished off nicely after being played in by a looping ball between Amakhosi’s centre-backs and Itumeleng Khune had no chance.

The Glamour Boys took the lead to the break given their persistent attacks and superior ball possession. In the second half, looking to protect their lead with a third goal, Chiefs kept on pushing forward and Spurs nearly made them pay for it.

With the hosts having plenty of bodies venturing forward, the visitors were able to enter Chiefs’ box in the 75th minute and Surprise Ralani could have levelled the scores, but his effort hit the crossbar with Khune beaten hands down.

To avoid a nervy finish, Chiefs, who had 20 shots in the match, scored the third goal in the 83rd minute from Christian Saile’s boots. But the match was indeed headed for a tense finish as 17-year-old Luke Bartmaan scored Spurs’ second, thus making it 3-2 in the 90th minute.

Fortunately for Chiefs, they were able to hold on and collect valuable three points that have placed them in 7th place on the log with 14 points. They are three places ahead of Pirates, who they play this Saturday in the Soweto Derby.

The win at home should be a confidence booster ahead of the derby, which will be played in the same venue. Does the win against Spurs herald a new beginning for Chiefs? Only time shall tell.

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