Kaizer Chiefs prove too strong for plucky AmaZulu
Kaizer Chiefs made it two wins on the bounce in the absa Premiership as they came out on top against AmaZulu in a 3-2 win at King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Chiefs went into the half-time break with a slender lead thanks to Marc van Heerden's first-minute own goal. AmaZulu rallied from behind in the second stanza as Ovidy Karuru scored against his former club, but Amakhosi were quick to reclaim the lead through Bernard Parker's thunderbolt a few minutes later. Willard Katsande added a third with 11 minutes remaining, before Van Heerden reduced the deficit in the injury time.
The first half started with a bang as the visitors claimed the lead inside the first minute of play.
After just 30 seconds, Leonardo Castro pounced on an attempted clearance by AmaZulu keeper Siyabonga Mbatha before steadying himself to strike the ball from a tight angle. Castro's shot came back off the post, though, before hitting Marc van Heerden and nestling in the back of the net.
It was certainly the kind of start the visitors had been hoping for, but they were unable to inflict further damage in a first half short on clear-cut chances.
Chiefs should have doubled their lead in the 25th minute when Lebogang Manyama got into a great position in the 25th minute, but his lobbed effort flew wide of the mark and into the side netting.
AmaZulu grew in confidence as the half wore on, with Siyethemba Sithebe firing high and wide on the volley in the 28th minute before Bongi Ntuli headed wide of the right-hand post four minutes later.
Amakhosi had two more chances to double their advantage, but Mbatha was alert to the danger and did well to keep out Castro's curling shot on 39 minutes before Kgotso Moleko failed to find the mark with a right-footed effort.
The last noteworthy chance of the half fell to Sithebe in the 41st minute, but he showed a real lack of composure, lashing a powerful shot high and wide.
As they had done in the first half, Chiefs came flying out of the traps after the half-time break as Castro fired wide of the target in the 48th minute.
However, AmaZulu began to impose themselves on proceedings and gave Chiefs a warning of what was to come as Sithebe dragged a left-footed shot wide of the mark on the hour mark.
And, just one minute later, AmaZulu drew level through former Chiefs player Karuru, who tapped home from close range after a brilliant ball into the box by Emiliano Tade.
The hosts' celebrations were short-lived, however, as Chiefs hit back just three minutes later to reclaim the lead. A deep cross was sent in towards the right-hand side of the box, and AmaZulu failed to clear the danger, allowing Parker to nip in and fire powerful effort into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
Chiefs stretched further ahead in the 79th minute, Willard Katsande finding the back of the net with a sliding shot while under pressure from two defenders.
Katsande's goal proved to be crucial, though, as AmaZulu again pulled one back in the third minute of injury time, Van Heerden slotting home from close range to setup a tense finish to the Absa Premiership encounter.