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Mbombela Stadium
02/08/2013 20:00

Parker gives Chiefs opening win

Posted: 2 August 2013 Time: 19:32

Kaizer Chiefs got their League title defence off to a winning start after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Mpumalanga Black Aces at Mbombela Stadium on Friday night.

Bernard Parker, who scored four goals in the opening game of the 2012/13 season, was again on the scoresheet, but Amakhosi did not have things all their own way.

The visitors dominated the opening exchanges as Aces’ new-look side struggled to find their feet, and it came as no surprise when they took the lead after just five minutes.

Siphiwe Tshabalala cut in from the right wing and found Parker in space on the edge of the area. The Bafana Bafana man created a yard of space for himself before firing a low shot past Bafana Nhlapo.

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Aces were battling to string two passes together and Chiefs had no problem regaining possession – and creating chances.

In the seventh minute Knowledge Musona played a brilliant cross in behind the visitors’ defence, but Lehlehonolo Majoro mistimed his slide and missed the ball altogether.

There was brief respite for Aces when Omar Hendricks came close with a thunderbolt which sailed narrowly over, but Amakhosi continued to pile on the pressure as first Tshabalala hit the side-netting, before Method Mwanjale brilliantly cleared Tefu Mashamaite’s header off the line on 37 minutes.

Majoro then came close with a shot on the turn which went just wide, before Aces found their feet just ahead of the half-time whistle with two good chances.

First Mabhuti Khenyeza - a shock inclusion given his 12-month ban - saw Itumeleng Khune pull off a brilliant save to keep out his long-range shot, before Ofentse Nato’s header from a corner landed on top of the net after Chiefs’ captain missed the ball.

The start of the second half mirrored that of the first as the visitors raced out of the blocks, with ‘Shabba’ almost fashioning an early chance after a lung-busting run down the right, only for Hendricks to save the day with a brave block.

Majoro came even closer on 53 minutes after Tsepo Masilela’s pass found him on the edge of the six-yard box, but Nhlapo pulled off a point-blank save.

The game hit a bit of a lull after that, with long-range efforts the order of the day as Mkhanyiseli Siwahla, Musona and Khenyeza all came close.

However, Khune again proved the difference with three minutes to go, saving expertly with his feet after Nato’s shot deflected off a defender.

And that proved the difference as Amakhosi held on for the three points which gets their title defence off to the perfect start.

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