PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
Chiefs have their 50th birthday cake and eat it
Chiefs produce a clinical 3-0 win against Highlands Park at FNB Stadium
If the saying goes that you cannot have your cake and eat it, someone should have told Kaizer Chiefs that as their 50th birthday celebration Absa Premiership match produced a clinical 3-0 win against Highlands Park at FNB Stadium.
Chiefs had their cake — chair Kaizer Motaung, surrounded by legends, sliced a huge one at half-time — and ate it, and had Highlands for seconds.
Goals from Erick Mathoho in the 27th minute and Leonardo Castro in the 57th and 70th brought immense cheer to a festive crowd of about 45,000, who had benefited from the free tickets Chiefs gave out in the build-up to the game.
Amakhosi coach Ernst Middendorp seems to keep twisting his side’s formations into some shape of unpredictable and awkward for opposition counterparts to battle to figure out.
He had a midfield four with no wingers, formed in an unorthodox block rather than a diamond of Willard Katsande and George Maluleka behind Kearyn Baccus and Lebogang Manyama.
Lazarous Kambole came in as an enforced change for a big suspension in Samir Nurkovic, behind centre-forward Leonardo Castro. Highlands’ sixth placing coming into the game showed coach Owen Da Gama’s repeated mantra that they are still learning in the PSL is a plan coming together steadily.
The MTN8 finalists were a chewy, hard-baked, if unimaginatively conceptualised, cake for Chiefs to get a bite into.
But Chiefs went about their job with professionalism, not getting carried away by the occasion. If the result was ultimately ground out, the convincing nature in which that was carried out spoke of a team with some tentative ability to seal a half-century season with a league title.
● Bongi Ntuli moved into double figures for the season as he scored twice to rescue a point for AmaZulu as they held Cape Town City to a 2-2 draw at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday.
City had led 2-0 midway through the first half after goals for Surprise Ralani and Roland Putsche, but Ntuli struck twice before the break to earn his side a precious away point.
● Other PSL results:
Black Leopards 1-2 Chippa United.
SuperSport United 2-2 Maritzburg United.