KAIZER Chiefs further entrenched their position at the top of the Absa Premiership with a 2-0 win over Soweto rivals Moroka Swallows at the Dobsonville Stadium on Friday night.
Goals from Zimbabwe duo Kingston Nkhatha and Knowledge Musona secured the Amakhosi an eighth successive league victory – the first time the Soweto giants have won eight successive games in a single PSL season.
Stuart Baxter’s team now sit a full 10 points ahead of second-placed SuperSport United (who defeated University of Pretoria in a match played simultaneously in Tshwane) though third-placed Mamelodi Sundowns (11 points behind) do have two games in hand on the leaders.
Chiefs flew out of the starting blocks and opened the scoring in just the fourth minute of the match. Siphiwe Tshabalala put Kingston Nkhatha clean through on goal and the striker guided a low shot beyond goalkeeper Greg Etafia to make it 1-0.
Swallows were rocked by the early goal and could have been two down quickly thereafter, as Tshabalala skipped past a couple of challenges in the box before shooting just wide of Etafia’s left-hand post.
However, the Birds gradually settled down and found a good passing rhythm. On 24 minutes they almost forced an equaliser through the persistence of striker Edward Manqele, who troubled the Chiefs centre-backs and Itumeleng Khune, but could only shoot wide in the end.
Ten minutes later Manqele teed up Giorgi Nergadze for a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but a last-gasp challenge from Tefu Mashamaite forced the Swallows midfielder to shoot over the target.
The hosts started the second half strongly and almost forced an equaliser in the 49th minute. Dikgang Mabalane whipped in a good cross from the right, Lerao Chabangu powered a header on target, but Khune made a good save to turn the ball around the post for a corner.
Chiefs had two forced substitutions in the second half due to injury, with both Nkhatha and left-back Tsepo Masilela forced from the field with knocks. Siyabonga Nkosi and Morgan Gould came off the bench to replace the duo.
On 72 minutes Knowledge Musona made it 2-0 with a superbly finished goal. The striker was put through on goal by Reneilwe Letsholonyane, but initially slowed by a good challenge from Rudi Isaacs.
However, Musona recovered his feet and coolly chipped the ball over the advancing Etafia into an unguarded net.
Just two minutes later the Birds were awfully lucky not to be reduced to 10 men when Larry Cohen tripped up Nkosi when he had only the goalkeeper to beat. Referee Robert Smith flashed only a yellow card when it was a challenge worthy of a straight dismissal.Advertisement
Swallows still had some threatening moments left in them, and on 79 minutes they forced a double save from Khune, who palmed away a stinging Chabangu volley before Nomvethe almost forced home on the rebound, only for the keeper to intervene again.