- Hlanti opened Chiefs’ account for the year against Royal
- The defender headed in after 60 minutes to end the drought
- Amakhosi had lost their last three games without scoring
WHAT HAPPENED? The left-back took advantage of his aerial strength to rise highest and head in Chiefs’ opening goal from a Keagan Dolly free-kick in the 60th minute.
The goal gave Chiefs the rewards their enterprising display had deserved and set them up on their way to their first win of 2023 with Ashley du Preez scoring a second five minutes to go after being teed up by new signing Christian Saile Basomboli.
Arthur Zwane’s side had conceded six goals without scoring against Sekhukhune United, AmaZulu and Mamelodi Sundowns heading into the meeting with Royal AM and the players rose to the occasion to put an end to their three-match losing run.
Chiefs dominated the encounter at the Peter Mokaba Stadium and should have scored more had Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana and Dillan Solomons converted their chances.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Victory moved Chiefs a place above on the table to fifth on 27 points from 18 matches, four behind Richards Bay who occupy second spot, and 25 behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
The win will delight Zwane who had complained about his side failing to convert their chances, especially in last weekend’s match against Sundowns, when they created numerous opportunities but failed to utilise.
Amakshosi supporters were also left delighted by the display of Basomboli, who impressed on his debut after coming close twice, before assisting Du Preez.
The Congolese will take the goalscoring burden off Bimenyimana who has looked out of confidence in recent matches.
WHAT’S NEXT? Chiefs will hope to make it two straight wins when they play away to TS Galaxy on February 5.