Chiefs’ hat-trick

2014-12-21 15:00

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Kaizer Chiefs yesterday completed a hat-trick of wins over Mpumalanga Black Aces in all competitions this season, though one of those victories came along after the Amakhosi simply rode a wave of luck.

The talking point of this game is certainly not going to be about Mandla Masango’s goal, which preserved Chiefs’ unbeaten league run going into the festive break, but about how Aces were clearly robbed of a goal that could have affected the final outcome.

If goal-line technology was used in the domestic league, Aubrey Ngoma’s shot in the 51st minute would have given Aces the lead before Masango headed home Kingston Nkhatha’s cross on the hour mark.

Masango has now scored four times in all of Chiefs’ meetings with Aces this season.

Controversy aside, yesterday’s game was one of those ­encounters where Chiefs met their match against the Aces, who threw everything they had at the log leaders.

After absorbing the pressure for most of the opening quarter, Aces almost caught Chiefs off-guard, but striker Tendai Ndoro was denied on two occasions – first by Chiefs

goalkeeper Nhlanhla Khuzwayo, who palmed his shot against the upright. His follow-up shot was cleared off the line by Mulomowandau Mathoho.

Aces looked dangerous on the counterattack as well, but their efforts were kept at bay by a solid Amakhosi defence that has only conceded eight goals in 18 league matches.

Despite being under siege from Aces at certain times, Chiefs’ quick transition play came in, where their surge was complemented by Nkhatha’s physical power.

The Zimbabwean international shielded the ball well with his back, but he gave in after hard knocks from the Aces rearguard, which resorted to targeting his ankles rather than the ball.

As a result of continuous dirty play, AmaZayoni defender Edwin Gyimah and midfielder Tshidiso Tukane were cautioned by referee Daniel Bennett.

But Nkhatha’s presence on the field again proved why he remains one of the most influential players in coach Stuart Baxter’s hunt for the Absa Premiership title as he limped on for the better part of the game yesterday – and was still a handful for the Aces defence.

As Chiefs maintained their unbeaten Premiership run, it remains to be seen how they carry their form into the new year, where they will have to juggle their domestic programme with that of their participation in the CAF

Champions League, which kicks off in February – the same month the Premiership resumes.

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