Premier Soccer League Kaizer Chiefs Free State Stars
Posted: 16 December 2014 Time: 17:31
Kaizer Chiefs extended their lead at the summit to 16 points with a 2-1 victory over struggling Free State Stars in Polokwane on Tuesday night.
Man of the Match Kingston Nkhatha posted a fine response to the Amakhosi boo-boys, scoring the opener before setting up Siyabonga Nkosi for his side's second goal at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Ea Lla Koto, who are second-from-bottom on the table, reduced the deficit late on through an own-goal from Bafana Bafana defender Mulomowandau Mathoho.
Chiefs dictated play in the first stanza, and nearly struck in the 30th minute but Nkhatha's downward header from a Nkosi right-wing cross was brilliantly kept out by Belgian goalkeeper Glenn Verbauwhede.
However, Nkhatha - who was heckled against Chippa United on the weekend - was not to be denied five minutes later as he deftly glanced a Tefu Mashamaite header, off a Nkosi corner, home from a yard out.
At the other end, Moeketsi Sekola tested Brilliant Khuzwayo with a thumping effort from distance but the Glamour Boys net-minder beat the ball away to safety.
Khuzwayo, though, nearly cost his team just before the interval as Danny Venter's powerful strike slipped through his fingers and sailed narrowly wide of the target.
Stuart Baxter's men doubled their advantage in the 52nd minute, as veteran playmaker Nkosi tapped in from close range off a low cross from the left by Nkhatha.
Stars threatened on the hour-mark but Khuzwayo was well placed to halt a powerful shot on the angle from the athletic Camaldine Abraw.
The hosts came close to adding a third goal soon after but Verbauwhede dived to foil a volley from Siphiwe Tshabalala, who came on for Nkosi moments earlier.
Kinnah Phiri's outfit pulled one back in the 84th minute when Mathoho headed past Khuzwayo from a corner to ensure a tense finale.
However, the log leaders held firm - with Ovidy Karuru making his debut for the Soweto giants in stoppage time - to preserve their unbeaten record after 17 League games.
HOME: Kaizer Chiefs
Coach: Stuart Baxter
Formation: four two three one
AWAY: Free State Stars
Coach: Kinnah Phiri
Formation: four five one