Chiefs get first win of the League season
Posted: 27 September 2008 Time: 22:18
Kaizer Chiefs earned their first points of the 2008/09 Absa Premiership season when they beat Ajax Cape Town 2-0 at Loftus Stadium on Saturday night. Ajax will, however, feel aggrieved by the defeat after hitting the upright on three occasions.
Late strikes by Siphiwe Tshabalala and Arthur Zwane saw Chiefs put their defeats to Thanda Royal Zulu and Maritzburg United behind them and kick-start their League campaign on the back of their MTN8 Cup Final victory against Sundowns on Tuesday night.
After a sedate opening 25 minutes, Jose Torrealba brought the game to life when he latched onto Thuso Phala's through-ball, burst into the area, brought Sean Roberts off his line, but saw his acute angle shot go agonisingly wide.
Chiefs kept the pressure on the visitors and Tshabalala brought the best out of Roberts, forcing him to tip over from 25 yards
With Chiefs pushing forward, Ajax finally came out of their shell. Brent Evans' run down the left hand side resulted in him finding space to fire in a shot, which Itumeleng Khune did well to palm to safety. A minute later an excellent cross-field cross from Evans saw Mabhuti Khenyeza turn Mokete Tsotetsi in the Chiefs rearguard but he shot tamely at Khune's goal.
On 40 minutes the former Chiefs striker, playing with a point to prove against his former club, should have opened the scoring. Great interplay between the Ajax midfield saw Sameehg Doutie play Khenyeza into the area; he drew Khune off his line but his shot bounced off the upright.
On 60 minutes Khenyeza hit the upright again, when he wrong-footed Khune with a snap shot but the Chiefs goalminder did brilliantly to regain his balance and punch out the rebound as it came off the post.
Ajax were dominating but could not get the breakthrough as Doutie hit the post with a snap shot five minutes later.
With the game seemingly heading for a deadlock, a weak clearing header by Nazeer Allie found Tshabalala on the edge of the area, who rifled a left foot shot past Roberts to give the home side an unlikely lead.
To use up time, Muhsin Ertugral brought on Arthur Zwane for Torrealba but the veteran winger had more to offer than just time. With his first touch he disposed Mfundo Shumana of the ball and with his second he drove an unstoppable shot into the back of the net to ensure Chiefs the three points.
Ajax coach Craig Rosslee summed up his team's performance: "We had chances but we didn’t take them, and in football if you don't take your chances it comes back to haunt you."
Haunt Ajax it did and the only thing to show for their effort was an Absa Premiership Man-of-the-Match award for Khenyeza.
Ertugral was happy with his team's second half performance. "It was tough for the players, as you could see they were tired because of their efforts from Tuesday night, but they got a second air late in game and showed they were hungry for the win, hungry to beat Ajax."