Rangers stumble to in-form Chiefs

Thomas Kwenaite

Kaizer Chiefs ............... (1) 2
Lebese 14, 69

Manning Rangers ........ (0) 0


Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs will be the team of the future. That was the comment made by Manning Rangers coach Gordon Igesund after his side were well beaten by a resurgent Amakhosi in Sunday's entertaining Castle Premiership clash.

"We had five players missing but I was impressed by Chiefs who played well and deserved to beat us. I congratulate coach Muhsin Ertugral who is doing a fine job with the youngsters and I believe that Chiefs will peak next season. As far as Rangers are concerned I will be happy to finish in the top eight," said Igesund afterwards.

Ertugral said he was pleased with the result that keeps the Amakhosi in the hunt for the championship.

"There is always pressure at a big club like Chiefs but I'm rebuilding the side and the rewards will come. I'm really happy with the progress we've made this term. We're still in the title chase but it will be next season where I reckon that we'll make a bigger impact. But we have three months of the season left and we'll be fighting until the last whistle."

The result leaves Chiefs still third with 46 points - eight behind leaders Sundowns and two behind second placed Orlando Pirates. The Amakhosi have played an extra game.

The Amakhosi created more clear cut chances in the opening half and few could have complained had they changed over two or three goals to the good. The make-shift Rangers defence battled to contain the lightning fast Chiefs strikers Siyabonga Nomvete and Thabang Lebese.

Nomvete rattled the crossbar with a header in the fourth minute after the Bafana Bafana striker connected Lebese's cross from the right. Ten minutes later Lebese had the 9 000 fans on their feet when he hammered home after Robert Nauseb had hit the upright with a powerful shot. The wide awake Lebese made no mistake from the rebound to put Chiefs into the lead.

Rangers best chance came in the 22nd minute when Mozambican international defender Helder Muianga headed Shakes Kungoane's well directed free kick fractionally wide of the woodwork.

Once again it was the Nomvete/Lebese combination that finished off Rangers in the 69th minute when Lebese slotted into an empty net for his brace after some great work and cross under pressure by the live wire Nomvete.

Teams:

Chiefs: Brian Baloyi, Jacob Tshisevhe, Gary Goldstone, Mohammed Auseb, David Nyathi (Marco Mthembu 63), Doctor Khumalo, Thabo Mooki, Robert Nauseb (Jabu Pule 56), Thabang Lebese, Patrick Mbuthu and Siyabonga Nomvete (Lucky Maselesele 78).

Rangers: Grant Johnson, Sipho Ndzuzo, Helder Muianga, Antonio Trigo, Nkhphitheni Matombo, Mandla Zwane, Japhet Zwane, Stewart Regan (Ishmael Maluleke 54), Bruce Ramokadi (Percival Molotsane 80), Isaac Kungoane and Gilbert Mushangazhike.

Referee: Jerome Damon

Yellow Cards: Nyathi 27, Nomvete 36, Muianga 66