Chiefs end drought ... at Rangers expense!
Kaizer Chiefs ended their two-month winless streak with a 1-0 victory over Manning Rangers in an unspectacular match at King's Park Rugby Stadium on Sunday. The match was in keeping with Chiefs' recent loss of form, but the home side's failure to take advantage of this fact was glaringly evident as they hardly had a decent shot on goal.
Both sides began tentatively, failing to take control of the match. This was the status quo throughout the first half. With Chiefs lacking co-ordination in midfield and Rangers failing to maintain possession long enough to mount a decent attack, the crowd of 15 000 football supporters had nothing much to shout about.
It was only when Chiefs' midfielders, Thabang Lebese, Patrick Mbuthu and Thabo Mooki, in particular, strung together several passes and released the hard-running Siyabonga Nomvete, did the proceedings liven up.
The former African Wanderers striker was Chiefs' star attacker with his darting runs, taking on of defenders and confidence to shoot on goal. And it was no surprise when he beat the off-side flag in the second half to score the only goal of the match. Nomvete's first shot on goal came in the seventh minute. He kept the ball in play down the left touch-line, beat Rangers defender Mark Davies for pace, ran and shot on goal. But central defender Bradley Muir managed to intercept the shot.
Rangers played largely on the counter-attack but the first touch during attacking build-ups let them down. Former Chiefs' favourite Isaac "Shakes" Kungoane, who has endeared himself to the Rangers' faithful, was also guilty of failing to control the ball with his first touch.
In other instances left-footed winger Japhet Zwane chose the wrong option when he had time and space on his side. In taking one Chiefs player too many he often gave away possession.
Up front Zimbabwean international striker Gilbert Mushangazhike hardly had a look-in. His strike partner Keryn Jordan, meanwhile, was all arms and legs as he fought gamely for possession.
Only Bruce Ramokadi in the midfield kept alive the home side's attacking spirit as he was full of running. Collecting a quick one-two exchange between defender Helder Muianga and Jordan, he burst through the middle in the 21st minute and passed to Fees Moloi on his right. But the right-footed winger's cross was poor.
The home side's best chance came in the 28th minute when Mushangazhike collected a defensive clearance from Muir and crossed into the box where Zwane missed to connect with the ball at the far post. At the other end Mooki, shimmying left to right in midfield, passed forward to Mbuthu, collected a return pass on the edge of the Rangers' box, and curled the ball wide of 'keeper Grant Johnson's right post.
The second half began promisingly for the home side as they took the game to Chiefs. But it was still the final thrust up front that failed to materialise. Possession counted for nothing as Kungoane released Moloi and with time and space on his side, the winger sent his cross into the side-netting.