Chiefs stay in contention
Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs beat BidVest Wits 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match on Saturday evening. The goals were scored by Abia Nale and Jose Torrealba, while Sifiso Myeni countered for Wits in the dying minutes of the game.
Thanks to the win, the Amakhosi are now in third position on the league table, six points behind log leaders SuperSport United. The Students stay in sixth position. Chiefs’ home match was played at Atteridgeville’s Super Stadium.
Jeffrey Ntuka made his debut at the centre-back position after having signed from Belgium outfit Westerlo during the January transfer window. Chiefs had a few problems in defence to sort out, as Jonathan Quartey and Mokete Tsotetsi were injured, while Valery Nahayo was suspended. The Amakhosi were also without their injured Nigerian striker Ibe Zito Ogbonna.
Chiefs started well, getting an early opportunity when Siphiwe Tshabalala hit the right post from just outside the box with Wits goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro well beaten. However, Wits competed well, going forward nicely with winger Richard Rantjie looking especially dangerous early on.
The Students even got a fine chance of their own in the 13th minute when defender Tefu Mashamaite headed the ball at the crossbar from a well taken corner by Marawaan Bantam.
In the 25th minute, Chiefs winger Arthur Zwane took a free kick from just outside the box. The ball bounced back from the wall to Zwane, who shot the ball at goal again. Accordingly, the ball landed via Thabang Rooi in front of Nale. The former Golden Arrows striker finished with his left from close range, scoring his first league goal in the Gold and Black jersey.
Wits struggled to get back into the game with the Amakhosi having most of the ball possession, although their striker Jose Torrealba often looked isolated up-front with Nale and Tshabalala (these two regularly switched positions with each other) being too deep in midfield.
The opening stage of the second half was controlled by Wits, thanks also because their central midfielders Marawaan Bantam and Fabricio Rodrigues had the upper hand over their counterparts from the Amakhosi. The Students weren’t always helped as well by referee Robert Smith, who made some weird decision and often allowed players to get away with some over the top tackling.
In the 60th minute, Chiefs’ Reneilwe Letsholonyane gave a nice through ball to Nale, who passed the ball deep to Torrealba. The Venezuelan striker, who hadn’t scored as yet in 2009, finished beautifully, 2-0. It was Torrealba’s third league goal of the season.
After their second goal, the Amakhosi took full control of the game again, getting a few opportunities, but, above all, Tshabalala should have done better as he often got his passing or crossing wrong with his teammates in good positions to score.
Substitute Myeni scored a late consolation goal for the Students, but, to be fair, Chiefs fully deserved the win, being the better team on the night.
The Amakhosi are still not out of the running for the league title thanks to the win and they will be anxiously following Thursday’s Tshwane derby between SuperSport and Mamelodi Sundowns. Because a win by Sundowns will throw the league title race wide open.
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Nale 25’, Torrealba 60’)
BidVest Wits (0) 1 (Myeni 92’)
Kaizer Chiefs (4-4-2): Khune; Tau, Ntuka, Rooi, Bhasera; Zwane, Nengomasha, Letsholonyane, Tshabalala (Masango 84’); Torrealba (Motaung Jr 74’), Nale (Mathebula 81’).
BidVest Wits (4-5-1): Murambadoro; Winstanley, Miller, Mashamaite, Phungwayo; Rantjie, Tipa, Rodrigues (Oliveira 84’), Bantam, Langerman (Myeni 66’); Spelman (Kadi 59’).