BERNARD Parker scored four brilliant goals as Kaizer Chiefs got their Absa Premiership campaign off to a flying start with a 6-0 win over AmaZulu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening.
Both sides started the game slowly and showed signs of rustiness as they lost possession easily in the middle of the park.
The first chance of the match fell for Sifiso Vilakazi in the 8th minute when he sneaked in behind the Kaizer Chiefs defence, but Khune reacted quickly and came out of his to block the ball just inside the penalty area.
Five minutes later the visitors had a similar chance at the other end as Kingston Nkhatha was put through by a great pass from Siyabonga Nkosi, but his effort was blocked by AmaZulu goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini before Thamsanqa Teyise completed the clearance.
Then in the 16th minute Kagiso Senamela latched onto a loose ball just outside the penalty area and managed to get a good connection with the ball, but his effort went just wide of the post with Khune rooted in the middle.
Goodman Dlamini, who had a quiet first half by his standards also tried to test Itumeleng Khune in the 18th minute but the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper was positioned well to make a comfortable save, before
Senamela fired wide again two minutes later.
Then Stuart Baxter’s men went up a gear as they started to dominate the midfield and in the 26th minute Siphiwe Tshabalala went on a great run and received the ball back from Nkhatha, but his shot was parried away by Kapini.
The Usuthu goalkeeper was back in action six minutes later as he dived to his left to palm away another good effort from Jimmy Jambo, who had received a great cut-back cross from Parker.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 38th minute as Josta Dladla cut in from the right before finding Parker just outside the box and he showed composure as he stepped away from Tsweu Mokoro before placing his low shot past Kapini.
The lead was extended just three minutes later as Erick Mathoho connected with a corner from Siphiwe Tshabalala but saw his header tipped onto the crossbar; however, Nkhatha was the quickest man to react as he volleyed the ball into the back of the net.
Parker then had a great chance to grab his break on the stroke of halftime as he received a low cross from Josta Dladla, but former FC Twente player sent his effort over the crossbar with the open goal at his mercy.
Straight after the break Nkhatha continued to cause problems for the Usuthu defence as he used his strength to hold the ball up in the 48th minute before turning into the box, but his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Then in the 54th minute Roger Palmgren’s men came close to fighting their back into the match as Senamela fired a rocket from 25 yards out, but his shot came off the crossbar with Khune well-beaten.
That proved to be a wake-up call for Chiefs and three minutes later they stretched their lead as Parker received a pass from Reneilwe Letsholonyane on the right before firing past Kapini at the near post.
Parker grabbed his hat-trick in the 65th minute as he received another pass from Letsholonyane on the right and cut inside before curling the ball into the net at the far post using his left foot.
Seven minutes later Parker scored his fourth goal of the match as he received a pass from Nkosi inside the box and showed his international experience as he beat Kapini with a neat chip.
Despite their strongest efforts AmaZulu were unable to get past the Chiefs defence which showed great improvement from the side which lost 4-1 against Sundowns in a cup game last weekend.
The demolition was completed in the 90th minute as Parker turned from scorer to provider as he cut the ball across for Nkosi to beat Kapini with a well-taken right-footed shot.
Kaizer Chiefs (2) 6 (Parker 38’ 57’ 65’ 72’, Nkhatha 41’, Nkosi 90’)
AmaZulu: Kapini; Mokoro, Hlela, Nyadombo, Teyise; Zhuwawo, Kgatla (Khumalo 71’), Mbele (Zwane 67’), Senamela; G Dlamini, S Vilakazi (Lekata 71’)
Kaizer Chiefs: Khune; Moleko (Katsande 84’), Gould, Mathoho, Jambo; Letsholonyane, Nkosi, Dladla, Parker; Nkhatha (Majoro 74’), Tshabalala (Masango 68’).
At Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, Tshwane, Mamelodi Sundowns registered a hard-fought 1-0 victory over rookies, Chippa United in another league match played this evening.-Backpage TXT