'Perfect response' by Chiefs
Bernard Parker (Gallo Images)
Durban - Four-goal hero Bernard Parker ensured Kaizer Chiefs bounced back from a heavy defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns seven days ago, by crushing AmaZulu 6-0 in Premiership opener in Durban on Saturday night.
“I’d say it was a perfect reaction to last week and a perfect start to the season as well,” Parker said.
“It will get us more motivated and fired up for the upcoming games."
The Bafana Bafana striker starred for Amakhosi with one of his most memorable performances for the club, while new signings Kingston Nkhatha and Siyabonga Nkosi completed the rout.
Just last Sunday, the Soweto giants were humiliated 4-1 by the Brazilians in an MTN8 cup tie.
“Last week was a wake-up call for us. Sundowns scored from three set-pieces and one from a mistake," Parker said.
"We’ve worked on those things the whole week and the coach made sure we would be on our toes when defending set-pieces.
“Today we kept a clean sheet, and did it well, and that is really satisfying for us.
"We look forward to continue doing that for the rest of the season."
Parker’s powerful showing drew plenty of praise from new coach Stuart Baxter, whose side had led 2-0 at the break, before cutting loose in the second 45 minutes.
“I don’t know about the start of his career because I didn’t see that," Baxter said.
“I saw one game last year against Ajax in Polokwane and I thought that if we could get Bernard into the right sort of positions, and get him with the right angles to play with other people, then he’s going to be an effective player.
“I think he’s got all of the qualities that a modern shadow striker should possess and we saw that tonight.
“I would imagine that (national coach) Gordon (Igesund) is very pleased to see what Bernard’s doing at the moment.”
AmaZulu boss Roger Palmgren was stunned by the result.
“It’s quite shocking and I cannot understand what went wrong,” Palmgren said.
“We’ll have a meeting first thing tomorrow to discuss it.”
Elsewhere on Saturday, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Usuthu’s key player from last season, scored a free-kick 19 minutes from time to give new club Sundowns a hard-fought 1-0 win over promoted Chippa United in Pretoria.
Black Leopards needed late penalty from Rodney Ramagalela to beat Bloemfontein Celtic 3-2 in Polokwane after throwing away a 2-0 lead midway through the second half.
It was the first time in five seasons that the Limpopo club began a campaign with victory.
In Bethlehem, goals from Paulus Masehe and Noah Chivuta gave Free State Stars a comfortable 2-0 victory over big-spending Wits at Goble Park.