Kaizer Chiefs extended their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership after beating Chippa United 2-0 thanks to a brace by Dumisani Zuma on Wednesday evening.
Amakhosi coach Ernst Middendorp made wholesale changes to the side that beat Orlando Pirates on penalties in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals, with only Daniel Cardoso, Willard Katsande and Samir Nurkovic retaining their places.
The Chilli Boys took advantage of Chiefs' lethargic start, with the likes of Komane and Silas Maziya unleashing thumping strikes at goal but goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma made great saves to keep the visitors in the game.
The Glamour Boys had a wonderful chance to break the deadlock just after the half-hour mark after Nurkovic delivered a teasing ball to the far post but Dumisani Zuma and Lazarous Kambole both missed the ball unmarked on the far side.
Norman Mapeza's men were hit by two injuries in the latter phase of the first stanza, adding to the early injury suffered by Elvis Moyo, as Komane and Frederic Nsabiyumva went down with their three substitution quota already exhausted.
The game stretched from end to end early in the second stanza, but Chiefs finally broke the deadlock in the 67th minute after Zuma initiated an attack through the middle and finished it off with a low strike past shot-stopper Patrick Tignyemb.
Middendorp then made his first change moments after that, bringing on Leonardo Castro in place Kambole to put more pressure on Chippa but the German mentor was forced to make a change with eight minutes remaining after Ngezana went down injured and he was replaced by Lorenzo Gordinho.
The game was on the edge in the closing phase, with Chippa finding chances on the break but Zuma sealed the victory for Amakhosi in second-half stoppage time with a low strike that deflected past Tignyemb.
As a result, Chiefs now sit seven points clear at the summit after Mamelodi Sundowns dropped points at Baroka FC on Wednesday evening.
Chippa: Tignyemb, Modisane, Nsabiyumva, K. Moyo, E. Moyo, Maphangule, Mahola, Komane, Maziya, Kwem, Twala.
Subs: Mazibuko, L. Manzini, R, Manzini, Mthethwa, Lentjies, Damons, Rakhale.
Chiefs: Bvuma, Moleko, Ntiya-Ntiya, Ngezana, Cardoso, Katsande, Zuma, Parker, Kambole, Nurkovic, Zulu.
Subs: Akpeyi, Castro, Gordinho, Maluleka, Mphahlele, Mahlasela, Blom.