Chiefs pile misery on Downs
Posted: 11 January 2009 Time: 17:23
Nigerian striker Zito Ogbonna scored his fifth League goal for Kaizer Chiefs as they claimed a precious 1-0 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns at the Johannesburg Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The game never quite lived up to its pre-match billing, but Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral will be relieved to have got his side back to winning ways after four games without a victory.
For Downs boss Henri Michel, it is now just two wins in 10 games as their season continues to go from bad to worse.
A blisteringly hot day and the long grass on the pitch did not help the players and at times, even in the first half, both sides seemed to coast through the game as the players caught their breath.
New boy Abia Nale provided a chance for Ogbonna on 15 minutes, but the striker slipped at the vital moment and Downs were able to clear.
Josta Dladla had the best two chances of the opening period. The first came as he beat the offside trap, but couldn’t hook the ball over the onrushing Itumeleng Khune in the Chiefs goal, with the minder managing to block his effort right on the very edge of the box.
Excellent play from Derrick Spencer down the lefthand side then set Dladla up with a clear sight of goal 15 yards out, but the winger showed poor technique as he lent back in the shot and the ball flew high and wide of the goal.
Sundowns had the better of the first half, but in the end each side managed just one shot on target each and the goalkeepers were mere spectators for much of the opening period.
The home side should have been ahead five minutes into the second half. Sibusiso Zuma reached the by-line and provided an inch-perfect cross for Collins Mbesuma, who, with the goal at his mercy, made only slight contact with the ball and Chiefs were able to clear.
Zuma fired in a terrific shot from 25-yards that had Khune diving to his right and saving well, while at the other end Jose Torrealba’s header from the edge of the box just went wide, though Calvin Marlin appeared to have the effort covered.
But the deadlock was finally broken in the 80th minute when Ogbonna was left totally unmarked in the box and powered a header from Nale’s cross goalwards, leaving Marlin with no chance.
And just minutes later it was almost 2-0 when Nale’s excellent right-footed shot from 30-yards cannoned back off the post and away to safety.