Emphatic win for Chiefs

Knowledge Musona (Gallo Images)
Knowledge Musona (Gallo Images)

Durban - Kaizer Chiefs took a major step towards the final qualifying round of the Champions League with an emphatic 4-0 first leg victory over Liga Muculmana De Maputo in Durban on Saturday night.

Early goals by Knowledge Musona and Siphiwe Tshabalala settled all the nerves for Amakhosi, before substitute Matthew Rusike and Erick Mathoho struck later on to seal a straightforward win over the Mozambicans.

The result ensured Chiefs will carry a comfortable cushion into the second leg of the first qualifying round in Maputo next weekend.

They were full value for the win after dominating from the outset.

Musona had the first attempt on goal in the opening three minutes, but it was well blocked by visiting goalkeeper Milagre diving to his right.

Amakhosi continued to press forward and after Tshabalala's effort from the edge of the box was blocked, Siboniso Gaxa saw his follow-up attempt easily gathered by the Mozambican custodian.

However, Milagre was to blame for the opening goal after 14 minutes when a rush of blood saw him dash out to try and gather a left-sided Reneilwe Letsholonyane cross, which he missed allowing Tefu Mashamaite to head downwards, before Musona bundled in on the line.

Stuart Baxter's men, with a near-full strength team on show, went 2-0 up in the 25th minute after a raking cross by Tsepo Masilela from the left evaded everyone including the keeper on its way to the back post where Tshabalala smashed in.

Muculmana finally had their first real chance after the half-hour when Momed Hagi was put through on the right, but the striker failed to make clean contact with the ball allowing stand-in goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse to comfortably collect .

Musona then made a good run to the right and shot low at Milagre, while Pieterse was forced to make his first big save in the 34th minute when Liberty's 25-yard shot had to be tipped over.

Zimbabwean Musona again showed glimpses that he was getting back to his best with an arrowing shot towards the bottom left corner that was somehow diverted wide by Milagre.

The Soweto giants held a comfortable lead at the break and after the restart they continued to push forward in search of more goals.

However, they found a far more resolute visiting team this time and had to wait nearly 20 minutes for another chance, which came when Tshabalala darted into the box and squared to Kingston Nkhatha, who poked wide at the near post.

The same Chiefs forward then had another chance after 71 minutes, curling a low shot from the left into the arms of Milagre -- his final act of the game before being replaced by Matthew Rusike.

The new man made an instant impact nine minutes from the end, sending a low 20-yard shot into the left corner.

Mathoho then headed in an 88th minute corner at the back post to add further gloss on an impressive win.

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