Absa Premiership

Amakhosi march past Stars

2014-12-16 22:55
Kingston Nkhatha (Gallo)

Polokwane - Kaizer Chiefs stretched their impressive unbeaten run with a 2-1 victory over Free State Stars, in the second match of a Premiership double header in Polokwane on Tuesday.

Playing in wet conditions, the hosts dominated the first half hour.

Ivan Bukenya had their first chance in the 11th minute, after collecting the ball from a set piece, but he fired over the crossbar from an angle in the area.

Amakhosi piled on the pressure with clinical surges up front. They nearly found the breakthrough in the 29th minute after some neat interplay between their strike-force.

Kingston Nkhatha flicked it on for Siyabonga Nkosi, who crossed it back, and Nkhatha's header was saved by Stars goalkeeper Glenn Verbauwhede, who was forced down low to keep the ball out.

The visitors had their first real opportunity three minutes later, though Moeketsi Sekola's long-range attempt was directed straight at Chiefs shot stopper Nhanhla Khuzwayo, who had no trouble clearing the danger.

With 10 minutes left in the opening period, Nkhatha found the breakthrough after receiving a header from Tefu Mashamaite, and the Zimbabwean international flicked it back to leave Verbauwhede stranded, giving the home side the lead.

Stars had one more attempt before the break, in search of the equaliser, but Khuzwayo denied a close-range strike by Danny Venter.

Eager to extend their advantage, Chiefs came out firing after the interval, and were soon rewarded.

Tsepo Masilela was wayward, charging into the area and pouncing on a loose ball before blasting it well over the crossbar.

Five minutes later, however, Nkosi doubled the lead, tapping in a neat pass from Nkhatha to push the visitors further on the back foot.

The hosts held off the Stars attack for much of the last half hour, but most of the visitors' attempts sailed wide.

Camaldine Abraw had perhaps the best effort, turning in the area and producing a thunderous strike which was saved by Khuzwayo.

Midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala kept the Amakhosi forwards on the prowl in the 67th minute, less than a minute after replacing Nkosi, but his left-footed volley was denied by a diving Verbauwhede.

With six minutes remaining, Stars were handed a consolation strike after a collision between Khuzwayo and over-ambitious defender Eric Mathoho deflected the ball into the net for an own goal.

Chiefs nonetheless remained undefeated in 17 league matches this season, while Stars were stranded in the relegation zone after going down for the ninth time in 16 fixtures.

"I think all in all it was a tricky game, well negotiated, and a very welcome three points," Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter said after the match.

University of Pretoria thumped Polokwane City 5-1 in the earlier match of the top-flight double header at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Read more on:    kaizer chiefs  |  free state stars  |  psl  |  soccer
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