Chiefs off to winning start

Kingston Nkatha (Gallo Images)
Kingston Nkatha (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs got their CAF Champions League campaign off to a solid start with a 3-0 victory over Black Africa of Namibia at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Kingston Nkhatha scored a brace either side of half-time, while Mandla Masango scored the opener as the pair sealed a comfortable win in the team's first leg, preliminary round clash.

Stuart Baxter's men will travel to Windhoek next weekend to compete the second leg of the 2014 edition.

Masango netted the opener 18 minutes in, thanks to a superb finish which set the tone for the rest of the half, while Nkhatha put further daylight between the continental neighbours before the interval.

The Zimbabwean international completed his brace four minutes from the end, to cap a successful evening in Johannesburg, which puts Chiefs in a commanding position ahead of the return leg.

Despite a slow start, in which Chiefs were left frustrated by the Namibians, who managed to hold their lines and made life difficult for the home side, the South Africans looked in control throughout the game.

Nkosi was the first to test Africa's goalkeeper Arnold Subeb, but the midfielder could only steer his left-footed effort straight into the hands of the shot-stopper.

The hosts soon came up with the goods, though, and took the lead on 18 minutes, after Musona's accurate delivery into the area found an acrobatic finish from Masango, who beat Subeb at his near post with a flying finish.

George Lebese came close for Chiefs 13 minutes later, but his shot was cleared off the line by Africa's Marvin Katire, following a goalmouth scramble which could have been converted from close-range.

There would be no stopping Amakhosi a minute later, as Nkhatha thundered home from outside the area to extend Chiefs' lead to two.

Nkhatha, who started alongside Musona in attack with Bernard Parker sitting on the bench, picked up a pass from some way out, took a touch and unleashed the venomous effort, which stayed low and bulged the net.

With their half-time lead intact, the Glamour Boys went about looking for a third, but it was Africa who did the early attacking of the second stanza.

Roger Katjiteo and Willy Stephanus forced Itumeleng Khune into saves, but the Bafana Bafana international dealt with the shots rather easily, as the Lively Lions failed to make an impact on Chiefs' defence.

Stephanus twice looked to ask questions of Khune's safe hands, but both attempts went high and wide of the mark, leaving the Amakhosi with little in the line of work.

At the other end, Nkhatha was causing problems, having regular shots on goal, but none came close, save for an effort before the hour mark, which was driven narrowly wide.

Chiefs peppered their opponents with chances in the final 15 minutes and the pressure eventually paid off, as Nkhatha bundled his second over the line, after Subeb failed to deal with Khune's long-ball toward his frontmen.

Nkhatha challenged in the air and eventually saw the ball safely over the line as Chiefs put the result to bed.

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