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Football | Absa Premiership

Siphiwe Tshabalala © Backpagepix

Zuma leads Chiefs to first home win

Dumisani Zuma came off the bench to great effect as Kaizer Chiefs recorded a 1-0 win over Ajax Cape Town in an Absa Premiership clash at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday evening.

The Amakhosi climb up to second spot on the league standings as a result of their performance and three-point haul. Their opponents drop down to 15th following a narrow win for Platinum Stars at Bidvest Stadium on the same night.

The Urban Warriors threatened early on as Thasbo Mosadi burst into the area before firing a rasping ball across the face of goal. His cross narrowly evaded the onrushing Ndiviwe Mdabuka, but Itumeleng Khune was called into action as the ball cannoned off his own teammate - the shot-stopper easily controlled the situation.

The Glamour Boys suffered an early blow as Philani Zulu had to be stretchered off in the 10th minute. Kgotso Malope came on in his place as the Amakhosi's injury woes continued.

Following a rather slow start, Chiefs quickly found their rhythm and dominated proceedings with the veteran pair of Siphiwe Tshabalala and Bernard Parker the main protagonists.

The Bafana Bafana duo linked up in the 36th minute as Parker guided his resulting header attempt narrowly wide of goal.

Ajax Cape Town's biggest threat came down the wings with Mosadi at it again two minutes later - Khune got down well to keep out the wing-wizard from an acute angle.

Chiefs ended the half in the ascendancy with Parker unlucky to see his shot clip the outside of the post on the cusp of halftime. For all their attacking intent, though, the Amakhosi were unable to muster a shot on target in eight attempts at goal in the opening stanza.

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The score was deadlocked at 0-0 as the two teams headed for the tunnel at the break.

Steve Komphela suffered a further blow as Parker left the field with an injury seven minutes after the interval.

Chiefs continued to boss possession, but were found wanting in the final third with Ajax Cape Town pinned in their own half.

The Urban Warriors looked sure to hold on for a valuable point as Teenage Hadebe guided his header attempt wide with the goal at his mercy, but Zuma had other ideas.

The attacker blasted into the area at full force before guiding his resulting shot past Jody February with 85 minutes on the clock. His injection off the bench was just what was needed as the Chiefs fans entered delirium.

Chiefs were only denied a second by a determined February, who did well to keep out Hendrick Ekstein and Zuma in the dying exchanges. It mattered little, though, as Komphela's men ended 2017 on a positive note.

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Zuma 85')
Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

Chiefs: Khune; Cardoso, Hadebe, Ngezana, Zulu (Malope 10'), Moleko (Zuma 74'), Meyiwa, Maluleka, Ekstein, Tshabalala, Parker (Paez 52')

Ajax: February; Kammies, Booysen, Nhlapo, Lebusa - Pietersen, Mdabuka (Sait 70'), Mzwakali (George 70') - Mosadi, Nemukondeni (Isaacs 90'), Morris.


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