Kaizer Chiefs maintain their position at the top of the league standings following a hard fought win against Black Leopards
Kaizer Chiefs beat Black Leopards 3-1 in Polokwane on Wednesday night, with Kingston Nkhatha scoring against his old club and Lucky Baloyi sealing the tie late on.
Chiefs opened the scoring via the boot of Tefu Mashaimaite, but conceded late on in the first half as Joshua Obaje pounced on a Mongezi Bobe delivery to make it 1-1 at half time.
Kingston Nkhatha scored Chiefs’ second and restored their lead against his old club, with Lucky Baloyi firing in a stunning effort to seal the win for the AmaKhosi in the third minute of extra-time.
Played at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium, the match barely settled before Tefu Mashaimaite found the opening goal.
An accurate corner kick from Simphiwe Tshbalala was glanced on into the area by Morgan Gould and Mashaimaite was on hand to divert the ball into the net as Chiefs surged into the lead with merely three minutes on the clock.
Chiefs’ movement in the final third looked almost unstoppable as the first half continued and Black Leopards struggled to deal with the AmaKhosi’s pace in attack.
A storm surrounded the stadium, resulting in heavy rains and difficult conditions on the pitch which seemed to help Leopards gain some momentum as they arrested control from Chiefs’ firm grasp on proceedings.
With twenty minutes gone, Black Leopards almost found the equaliser but were denied by the agility and anticipation of Ithumeleng Khune, who pulled off a superb double save.
Abbas Amidu was released down the left flank and fired in a low effort towards goal which Khune was able to divert onto the post, only for the ball to rebound into the path of Mongezi Bobe, whose powerful drive seemed destined to find the back of the net, but Khune’s fast reactions and recovery meant he could deny the Black Leopards captain with an instinctive block.
As cries of “Khune!” echoed around the stadium Leopards continued to pile on the pressure and were finally rewarded in the 41st minute as Bobe sent in a picture perfect delivery into Chiefs’ box, which a composed Joshua Obaje directed into the back of the net.
A riveting first half ended 1-1, as Leopards went into the break high in confidence and with all the momentum on their side.
The game’s second half struggled to match up to its breath-taking first stanza, until Bernard Parker almost scored a stunning free kick in the 61st minute , but the PSL’s top scorer was denied by a strong save from Azwindini Maphaha.
Chiefs looked like they may continue to be frustrated until former Black Leopards player Kingston Nkhatha unleashed an unstoppable strike four minutes later, which rifled into the net past a sprawling Maphaha, restoring Chiefs lead.
In the final minute of the game, Bernard Parker surged forward down the right flank and set-up Lucky Baloyi with a superb cut-back which allowed the substitute to score the third and final goal of the match.
Chiefs remain on top of the PSL standings with 42 points, while Black Leopards teeter ever closer to the drop zone after another league loss.