Kaizer Chiefs lose to Cape Town City in Mpumalanga Cultural Experience Cup

Amakhosi's preparations for the new season continued to take a nosedive as they lost their final pre-season match in Mbombela

Kaizer Chiefs lost their second successive pre-season match as they were beaten by Cape Town City in the inaugural Mpumalanga Cultural Experience Cup on Saturday. 

Graig Martin scored the only goal of the match, smashing a thunderous strike past Virgil Vries in the 60th minute. 

Amakhosi fielded their strongest possible side, although the likes of Teenage Hadebe and Ramahlwe Mphahlele among others were not part of the starting line-up.

Khama Billiat, Leonardo Castro and Bernard Parker formed the front three for the Soweto giants, but the attacking trio didn't click hence Chiefs' failure to find the back of the net on the day. 

Benni McCarthy handed new goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburg his debut despite his arrival during the week. 

Also cracking the nod against Chiefs was former Orlando Pirates winger Riyaad Norodien, who started on the left had side of City's midfield. 

The Naturena-based had an impressive start to the first half, with Billiat causing all sorts of problems for City on the left hand side. 

With this being his third appearance in the Amakhosi colours, the Zimbabwean showed just why he's considered the club's marquee signing, and he was unfortunate not to find the back of the net inside the opening 15 minutes from a free-kick situation as Leeuwenburg made a fantastic save. 

Castro failed to connect another Billiat free-kick 25 minutes into the encounter as Chiefs really threatened to take the lead. 

City then began to take control of the game using Thabo Nodada's pace to penetrate the Amakhosi defence. The diminutive player left Erick Mathoho for dead before firing towards Khune, who then parried the shot around the post. 

Siphiwe Tshabalala got injured just after the half-hour mark, and Patrick Mabedi took replaced him as a precaution, throwing in Joseph Molangoane in his place. 

At this stage, both sides were looking good on the ball, although both sets of fans would feel robbed as there were no goals going into the half-time break. 

The rules of the event allowed for eight substitutions, and City took advantage of that in the second half, making five changes before the restart with Siphelele Mthembu, Teko Modise and Gift Links among those who took to the field. 

Chiefs also made changes of their own, with Khune making way for Vries in between the sticks. 

Vries was tested five minutes into the second period when Mthembu forced his way into the Chiefs box, before firing towards goal. 

However, the shot was too weak to beat Vries, who made a comfortable save. 

Chiefs suffered another injury blow as Taariq Feilies brought Billiat down soon after dispossessing Modise in the final third. 

Billiat then limped off the pitch, and Mabedi had to make a decision to replace him with Kabelo Mahlasela.

City's game plan seemed to work as they scored soon after Billiat left the pitch, with Martin firing home from outside the box to give his side the lead.

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With the clock ticking Chiefs made a few changes, perhaps to give those who haven't been getting game time a run. Among them were Siphelele Ntshangase and Bhongolethu Jayiya. 

Mahlasela nearly forced the match to go to penalties, only for his brilliantly taken shot to be saved by the goalkeeper minutes from time. 

In the end, Martin's solitary goal was enough to seal City's 1-0 victory over Chiefs, who now need to go back to the drawing to rectify their mistakes before the start of the season.  

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