THE Kaizer Chiefs train continued to steam ahead with Siphiwe Tshabalala and Siphelele Mthembu’s second-half goals securing a 2-0 win over Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership encounter at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.
The victory see’s the Amakhosi open a 14-point gap atop the league standings having yet to lose a game.
Tinkler matched the six changes made by Vladimir Vermezovic for their midweek loss to Maritzburg United. Lehlohonolo Majoro was one the changes, the Bafana Bafana striker lining up against his former employers.
The six changes include three in defence with Rooi Mahamutsa, Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Patrick Phungwayo returning to the starting eleven.
Stuart Baxter meanwhile made only one change with Mandla Masango, who came off the bench in Chiefs 3-0 win over Bidvest Wits in midweek, replacing George Maluleka.
The teams matched each other blow for blow in the opening exchanges with chances few and far between.
Kingston Nkhatha got the Amakhosi fans off their seat in the 19th minute. Siboniso Gaxa charged down the left flank before picking out the Zimbabwe attacker who failed to add to his one league goal of the season, sending his header just wide of Brighton Mhlongo’s left-hand upright.
The Buccaneers first shot in anger fell to an unlikely source in the 37th minute. After skipping past Reneilwe Letsholonyane on the edge of the area, the Chiefs defence opened up for Thandani Ntshumayelo who’s powerful effort ruffled the side netting.
There was nothing to write home about at the break with neither side offering much in attack in the first 45, the defenders the only winners in what was a cagey first half.
Tshabalala opened the scoring six minutes into the second stanza with a cracking finish. The Chiefs midfielder latching onto Bernard Parker’s pin-point cross into the area, on the full, to net his first league goal of the season.
Letsholonyane should’ve doubled the visitors lead in the 65th. Following a succession of one-two’s the veteran midfielder found himself free on goal, but he could only manage to trouble the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
The Soweto Derby came to life in the final 20 minutes with the Buccaneers pressing forward in search of the equaliser.
Rooi Mahamutsa headed Mpho Makola’s corner-kick just over in the 74th minute before Sifiso Myeni shot just wide from an acute angle two minutes later.
Mthembu sealed the points in stoppage time, finishing off a great run by George Lebese down the right flank, to secure the bragging rights for the Amakhosi.
Pirates second loss in succession leaves them in seventh place on the league standings, 18 points behind their fiercest rivals.
Orlando Pirates 0
Kaizer Chiefs 2 (Tshabalala 51’ (Mthembu 90+3)
Orlando Pirates: Mhlongo; Mahamutsa, Jele, Nyauza, Phungwayo, Sarr, Ntshumayelo (Makola 69’), Myeni, Klate (Matlaba 78’), Manyisa, Majoro (Erasmus 69’)
Kaizer Chiefs: Khuzwayo; Gaxa, Mashamaite, Mathoho, Masilela, Katsande, Letsholonyane, Tshabalala, Parker (Gould 85’), Masango (Lebese 77’), Nkhatha (Mthembu 89’)
In Limpopo, Polokwane City continued with their good performance with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Chippa United in another league match played at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium last night. The victory saw City moved to the eighth position on the log.
In Tshwane, Mamelodi Sundowns registered a deserving 2-0 victory over Free State Stars at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville to move to the second position.
The rest of the league results are: Mpumalanga Black Aces 3 v AmaZulu 1 and Platinum Stars 1 v Moroka Swallows 0.-Backpage TXT