Johannesburg Stadium, Johannesburg - A brace apeice by Pollen Ndhlanya and Thabang Lebese was enough to give Kaizer Chiefs a 4-1 win against Manning Rangers at the Johannesburg Stadium last night. With Sundowns beating Santos 3-1 at Newlands, it was important that Chiefs did not drop any points against Gordon Igesunds well drilled side.
The game started at a frantic pace with Chiefs doing all the attacking, and the visitors were content to soak up the pressure. Chiefs were struggling to find their rhythym because Rangers were closing them down quickly which made it difficult for the likes of Lebese, Thabo Mooki and Zane Moosa to settle down. Moosa who made his second appearance for Chiefs was a revelation and had a hand in all the goals.
The game was tight and the first opportunity came only in the 20th minute when after being put through by Lebese, Ndhlanya scuffed his shot over the bar with only goalkeeper, Grant Johnson to beat. Johnson was in inspired form and if it had not been for his outstanding goalkeeping Rangers would have suffered a heavier defeat.
Chiefs took the lead on the stroke of halftime, when a mistake by Rangers defender Antonio Trigo, saw the ball fall to Moosa who fed Lebese and Ndhlanya made no mistake with the defence splitting pass he recieved from his team-mate. At the start of the 2nd half, Rangers brought on Nkiphetheni Matombo and Liswa Nduti in an attempt to stifle Moosa and Mooki who were running amok in the midfield.
But Rangers plan to play the offside trap failed as Chiefs scored three goals in quick succession to put the issue beyond doubt. Chiefs coach Paul Dolezar made a tactical change in the 75th minute when he replaced Moosa with striker Daniel Matsau. After his substitution Chiefs lost their rythym and allowed Rangers back into the game. The Soweto side has conceded seven goals in their last two league games and despite being 4-0 up Chiefs were on the edge when the Mighty Maulers attacked.
Two excellent saves from Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Brian Baloyi in the 78th and 83rd minute from Gilbert Mushangazike and Kerryn Jordan really broke the visitors hearts. The Durban side did get a consolation goal four minutes before the end. After concerted pressure Solo Ndimande scored from a corner, but that the only positive thing they gained from this cracking game. With six games to go, Rangers cannot be written off - but their fate is out of their hands now.