Three-goal Kaizer Chiefs bury TTM
Gavin Hunt’s team was calm, controlled and took their chances against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila
Kaizer Chiefs are on something of a roll — well, at the very least a mini-loaf — after a third Premier Soccer League victory on the bounce, beating Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) at FNB Stadium 3-0 on Tuesday.
Nkosingiphile Ngcobo struck a fine 19th-minute opener, and substitute Lebogang Manyama added a second on 66 minutes with his first touch.
TTM had centreback Alfred Ndengane sent off for a characteristic hack on Samir Nurković seven minutes from time. In the final minute of normal time the substitutes who combined for Chiefs’ second — Manyama this time laying on for Happy Mashiane, who produced an excellent finish — notched a third.
Another replacement, Bernard Parker, also received his marching orders — uncharacteristically for the normally model professional — for a late challenge on Brandon Theron three minutes into added time.
Gavin Hunt’s formative Chiefs have found physical presence and a work-rate closing spaces out of possession. Daniel Cardoso, Darrel Matsheke, Ngcobo — all starting on Tuesday — and substitute Njabulo Blom have been at the forefront of renewed muscle in midfield.
With the ball, Amakhosi’s movement upfront has been significantly bolstered by the return of the intelligent Nurkovic.
Hunt’s team are entirely a work in progress. They were entering a fixture against a struggling team that — with bad press circling coach Joel Masutha’s side of players not paid, strikes and being for sale — had slipped to second-last.
But Chiefs have found the going tougher at home and returning from their two wins on the road — 1-0 against AmaZulu and 2-1 at Cape Town City — a match that they were expected to win was just the kind of fixture in which a team still trying to find solid ground might well have tripped. They were calm as well as controlled and took three good chances.
Hunt had said, while the youngster has been a starting favourite, he wants Ngcobo to start burying chances. The coach and player will be happy at a sudden return of two goals in two matches.
Chiefs had looked to start on the front foot as Cardoso showed a midfielder’s technique striking a volley powerfully from the edge of the area wide, but not by much.
The home team’s rhythm was disrupted as Ramahlwe Mphahlele pulled a hamstring, Blom coming into midfield in the 15th minute and Cardoso dropping to centreback.
TTM appeared to be containing Amakhosi. But from a Kgotso Moleko throw-in from the right, Nurkovic neatly brought the ball down, turned his marker, and lobbed for Ngcobo, given too much space on the left by marker Nicholus Lukhubeni. The SA Under-23 international beautifully touched wide, lobbed the challenge of Lukhubeni, and volleyed past Arubi.
Two young substitutes, Mashiane and Lebohang Lesako, combined for a half-chance soon after the break, the latter unable to stretch to the former’s delightful ball across goal.
Lesako appeared to injure something with the stretch and had to be replaced by Manyama. Seconds later Mashiane was played into space on the left from a free-kick, and squared, Manyama burying Chiefs’ second.
On another frustrating afternoon for TTM, Ndengane’s challenge caused the Limpopo team to be down to 10 men.
Manyama fed Mashiane through who banged in his second in two games from a tough angle. Then Parker’s rush of blood caused both sides to finish with 10 men.
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