Sekhukhune United 0-1 Kaizer Chiefs: Amakhosi keep slim Caf Champions League hopes alive
Khama Billiat, Kaizer Chiefs & Nyiko Mobbie, Sekhukhune United, May 2022
Khama Billiat was a thorn in Babina Noko's side throughout the match as the Glamour Boys recorded their 13th league win of the season

Ramahlwe Mphahlele's solitary goal earned Kaizer Chiefs a 1-0 win over Sekhukhune United in a PSL encounter played at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday afternoon. 

Bernard Parker, Sabelo Radebe and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo were all recalled to the starting line-up as Chiefs looked to return to winning ways after drawing 0-0 with Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend. The Soweto giants were looking to complete a double over Sekhukhune having claimed a 2-0 win over the PSL debutants in the first round league clash last December.

On the other hand, it was clear that Sekhukhune would be using wing play with Charlton Mashumba being the focal point of the attack with Edwin Gyimah marshalling the backline. Babina Noko were desperate for a win in order to snap their nine-match winless run in the league having drawn 0-0 with AmaZulu FC in their previous game on May 7. 

Although it was Chiefs who dominated possession in the opening exchanges, the hosts threatened first through Mashumba after some good work by Nyiko Mobbie. The Mamelodi Sundowns loanee delivered a top-notch cross from the right which found Mashumba, whose bullet header was sensationally saved by a diving Bruce Bvuma in the Amakhosi goal-posts.

Amakhosi were also playing crosses into the Babina Noko's box with goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata forced to come and push away Khama Billiat's cross which was meant for Leonardo Castro. The Zambian keeper then pulled off a smart save at his near post - blocking Bernard Parker's headed effort as the visitors pushed for the opening goal.

However, Nsabata was beaten after Sekhukhune had failed to clear Billiat's free-kick as Gyimah headed the ball into Mphahlele's path and the experienced defender poked the ball home from close range to hand Chiefs a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute. Chiefs were leading during the half-time break courtesy of Mphahlele's first goal of the season.

Tlotlo Leepile and Sekhukhune top scorer Chibuike Ohizu were introduced in the second half as the hosts looked to level matters, but Amakhosi's defence was solid and compact. The Glamour Boys looked dangerous on the counter-attack and they should have scored after Billiat was sent through on goal. 

However, Nsabata came out to deny the former Zimbabwe international from a one on one situation. Billiat was involved in the build-up to most of Chiefs' attacks and he played a quality cross which found Radebe who directed the ball straight into Nsabata's hands as the visitors searched for a goal which would have killed off the match.

The momentum was with Babina Noko in the closing stages of the match, but Mphahlele was determined to ensure that the visitors kept a clean sheet as he made important blocks to deny Ohizu and Prince Nxumalo inside the visitors' box. Ultimately, the match ended in a 1-0 win in favour of the Chiefs on the day.

The win kept Chiefs' slim hopes of finishing second in the league and qualifying for next season's Caf Champions League alive. Amakhosi are three points behind second-placed Cape Town City with one game left for both teams. 

Furthermore, the Glamour Boys are also level on points with third-placed Royal AM who have two games left. Chiefs will wrap up their league campaign with a clash with Swallows FC on May 21.