Samir Nurkovic. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU
Samir Nurkovic. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

Maybe Kaizer Chiefs have finally found a way out of the woods. This hard-fought 1-0 Premier Soccer League (PSL) win over AmaZulu at Kings Park in Durban on Wednesday was hardly impressive but it dragged them away from the relegation zone.

With this victory‚ their second after 10 league matches‚ Chiefs moved from third from bottom to the middle of the table with 10 points, easing the pressure on coach Gavin Hunt.

Chiefs registered their first domestic win since October 27 when they beat Chippa United 1-0 in the PSL in a run that lasted nine matches. Though they have struggled in the league‚ Chiefs have done well in the Caf Champions League by qualifying for the group stages with aggregate wins over PWD Bamenda of Cameroon and Primeiro de Agosto of Angola.

AmaZulu‚ whose first shot on target came after 75 minutes‚ remain in the middle of the table with 10 points. Since he joined the club‚ coach Benni McCarthy has overseen a win‚ a draw and a defeat in his first three matches.

AmaZulu were lucky to continue with 11 players after Thembela Sikhakhane got away with a yellow card for a dangerous stamping on Happy Mashiane inside three minutes.

Chiefs took the lead after 11 minutes through a close-range effort by Samir Nurković. Dumisani Zuma delivered a cross that rebounded off AmaZulu midfielder Siyethemba Sithebe on the edge of the penalty box, allowing Nurkovic to pounce.

Nurkovic shook AmaZulu just as they started to create half-chances of their own‚ with Talent Chawapiwa‚ Sphelele Mthembu and Augustine Mulenga at the forefront.

Shortly before the break‚ referee Philangenkosi Khumalo issued yellow cards to Nurkovic and Tapelo Xoki after they were involved in a headbutting incident.

AmaZulu came within inches of equalising just after the hour mark when Xoki’s header flew agonisingly wide of the upright after he connected with a free-kick from Sithebe.

Amakhosi visit Cape Town City on Saturday, while Usuthu welcome Maritzburg United on Sunday.

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