Absa Premiership

Chiefs made to work for win over Leopards

2018-11-07 21:58
Willard Katsande
Willard Katsande (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs halted a three-match winless streak in the Absa Premiership as they edged a spirited Black Leopards 1-0 at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday.

Black Leopards made the better start, despite Kaizer Chiefs hitting the target twice in the opening six minutes.

King Ndlovu was called into action as early as the first minute, although Dumisani Zuma's tame shot from 22 yards out was routine for the visiting keeper.

Arohasina 'Dax' Andriamirado tried his luck from 25 yards out five minutes later, but he too failed to trouble Ndlovu with a low strike that lacked any real power.

Joel Masutha's troops threatened moments later when Mwape Musonda latched onto Lesedi Kapinga's through-ball and forced Itumeleng Khune to push away his shot from 17 yards out.

Phathutshedzo Nange then went close for Lidoda Duvha on nine minutes as he drew a fine save out of Khune at the near post from 12 yards out following good build-up play on the left.

The action switched to the other end, where Leonardo Castro found Zuma in space with a square pass from inside the box on the left, but the winger failed to beat Ndlovu from 10 yards out.

After Chris Katjiukua powered a header just over the crossbar from a free-kick on the right in the 18th minute, Khama Billiat volleyed over from the box a minute later after making contact with Castro's flick-on.

Kapinga tested Khune from a tight angle on the right in the 32nd minute following a brief lull in the game, while Billiat curled an effort wide of the right post from 18 yards out seven minutes later after Godfrey Walusimbi set him up with a neat volleyed pass on the left.

The opener arrived four minutes before half-time and it was Amakhosi fans celebrating as Willard Katsande headed home from close range after a corner from the right was flicked on by Ramahlwe Mphahlele at the near post.

Ndlovu was quickly into the action after the restart as he made a brave block at the feet of Mphahlele after Dax threaded him in on the right.

But Chiefs were nearly made to pay for a mistake at the back on 55 minutes when Karabo Tshepe pounced on a poor throw-in and advanced into the area before seeing his shot blocked by Khune, with Lefa Hlongwane clearing the bar from 20 yards out on the rebound.

Ndlovu was at his best again on 57 minutes as he tipped over Mario Booysen's free header from a cross on the left, before Khune preserved his team's lead with a fantastic block to deny Mthokozisi Nene at point-blank range on 75 minutes after the Glamour Boys failed to deal with a corner on the left.

Castro hit a hopeful shot wide of the left post with the outside of his right foot from 19 yards out in the closing stages, and Bhongolwethu Jayiya missed the target at the back post on the stretch after connecting with a fine cross from the left 10 minutes from time.

Leopards had a late chance to snatch a share of the spoils from a free-kick 25 yards out on the right, but Khune claimed Markus Munyai's curler at the second attempt to record a clean sheet.

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Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Maritzburg United v Chippa United, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
Highlands Park v AmaZulu, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v Cape Town City, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Bloemfontein Celtic v SuperSport United, Dr Molemela Stadium 19:30
Black Leopards v Mamelodi Sundowns, Thohoyandou Stadium 19:30
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Chippa United v AmaZulu, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 20:00
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