KAIZER Chiefs and Bidvest Wits have drawn 1-1 in a thrilling end-to-end Absa Premiership match at FNB Stadium with goals by Ryan Chapman and Siphiwe Tshabalala.
Bidvest Wits made six changes to their starting team that faced the very same Kaizer Chiefs in a Cup match a week ago. Asive Langwe made a very rare start in attack.
Chiefs, meanwhile, started the game with three centre backs and two wingbacks. Coach Stuart Baxter’s tactics were to attack down the flanks, but pack the defence when needed.
It took just ten minutes for the opening goal when Ryan Chapman did really well to head in a Matty Pattison corner unmarked at the near post. Chiefs’ Erick Mathoho had given away a cheap corner and Amakhosi’s marking was non-existent at the set piece.
Chiefs got back into the affair and got their wingbacks into the game straight after the goal. In the 18th minute, Siphiwe Tshabalala got into space down the left, but his cross could not find a teammate and Wits cleared the danger.
About five minutes later, with Chiefs again pressing forward with pace, Tshabalala powered in a shot from distance, but Jackson Mabokgwane made a strong save.
In the 28th minute Chiefs got back into the game when Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s through ball found Tshabalala, and while Ebrahim Seedat struggled to clear the danger, ‘Shaba’ took full advantage to poke the ball past Jackson Mabokgwane.
[embed:video:id=218704] It was a defensive mix up between Seedat and his goalkeeper, but Chiefs deserved the goal after some constant pressure on the Wits defence.
Late in the opening half both teams came close to scoring more goals in a thrilling final ten minutes.
First, Kingston Nkhatha hammered a volley into the side-netting after a clever attacking move by Chiefs. Then, on the other end, Sibusiso Vilakazi’s powerful shot was well saved by Itumeleng Khune, who did well to keep out a cheeky Matty Pattison curling shot moments later.
Baxter made two changes at the halftime break with Lehlohonolo Majoro replacing Nkhatha and Mandla Masango on for Morgan Gould.
Eight minutes into the second half, Parker should have done better when he created space for himself inside the area but his left-footed shot from close range was not strong enough.
As the second half wore on it became evident that Bidvest Wits would pack the midfield and do their best to frustrate Chiefs and break the rhythm of the game.
Bernard Parker went close in the 79th minute when his powerful shot was tipped out for a corner by Mabokgwane.
Chiefs had the ball in the net with eight minutes remaining, but the effort was correctly ruled out. Tefu Mashamaite illegally climbed all over Chapman and headed the ball in. No goal.
A minute later Mandla Masango squeezed a shot wide from a very good position after clever work by Parker and Tshabalala.
The final ten minutes were action packed as both teams flew into the tackles and had some very close moments in the dying minutes.
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Tshabalala 28’)
Bidvest Wits (1) 1 (Chapman 10’)
Chiefs: Khune; Gaxa, Gould (Masango 46’), Mashamaite, Mathoho, Masilela (Ritchie 60’); Baloyi, Letsholonyane, Tshabalala; Nkhatha (Majoro 46’), Parker
Wits: Mabokgwane; Mngomezulu, Sibande, Sweswe, Seedat (Mashaba 46’); Pattison, Nengomasha; Vilakazi (Isaacs 70’), Faty, Langwe (Timm 85’); Chapman
In the other league matches played today, Bloemfontein Celtic beat Chippa United 1-0 with Golden Arrows stunning Free State Stars 1-0 while Moroka Swallows lost 2-1 at home to AmaZulu-Backpage TXT