|Bernard Parker © Gallo Images
A goal in each half from Bafana Bafana duo, Bernard Parker and Siphiwe Tshabalala, saw Kaizer Chiefs go to the top of the Absa Premiership as they beat Black Leopards 2-1 at Soccer City on Wednesday night.
The first 45 saw the Amakhosi start the match where they left off on Saturday night after the game was cancelled due to bad weather with Chiefs in the lead by two goals to nil.
Chiefs came within inches of taking the lead as early as the fourth minute.
Tefu Mashamaite showed some good strength to rise above his marker to get on the end of a Siphiwe Tshabalala corner-kick, but the Chiefs defender saw his header from 12-yards out rattle off the crossbar.
Chiefs, though, didn’t have to wait much longer before they did find the back of the net courtesy of none other than Bafana international Bernard Parker in the 12th minute.
His goal, much like the first encounter, again came from a set-piece. The difference this time, however, was the fact that it was only 16-yards out and not 25-yards.
George Lebese won the penalty for the Glamour Boys after using his speed to burst into the box before he was pulled down by Ernot Dzaga and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot.
Parker duly obliged, making no mistake as he buried the ball into the top left-hand corner to give his side the lead, 1-0.
After winning the penalty, Lebese nearly scored a goal of his own in the 13th minute. Only the acrobatics of Ayanda Mtshali, diving full stretch to his left, kept the scores the same as he palmed away a 20-yard pile-driver from the winger.
As the game progressed Leopards started to find their feet and came bitterly close to levelling matters in the 20th minute.
Some swift passing by the visitors saw Raymond Monama with a shooting chance just inside the 18-yard box, but he fired his shot centimetres over the crossbar.
And in the 36th minute it took the heroics of Siboniso Gaxa to keep his side in the lead as he slid in front of a Rodney Ramagalela cross, which had he missed Thabo Mongalo would surely have tapped home from a couple yards out.
As the game neared the break Chiefs did have the final say as Tshabalala beat a couple of defenders on the right flank before cutting inside and unleashing a powerful shot from 20-yards out. His effort, however, was well saved by Mtshali.
The second 45 saw Chiefs in full control and it only seemed a matter of time before they found their second goal, but they were made to work for it.
In the 53rd minute a quick one-two between Parker and Lebese saw the Bafana striker through on goal, but he fired narrowly wide from 14-yards out when he should of, at the very least, hit the target.
Eight minutes later and Parker was in the thick of the action again, this time dribbling his way past the last defender on the edge of the box, but he failed to beat the keeper in a one-on-one situation.
Finally, in the 70th minute Chiefs were able to find their second goal.
Tshabalala picked up ball on the edge of the box, dribbled past two players and then calmly passed the ball into the back of net from 14-yards out, 2-0.
As the game neared the end Leopards threw numbers forward and a former Chiefs’ man in Brian Abbas Amidu scored a consolation goal for the visitors as he powered the ball home from 16-yards out, 2-1.
Nonetheless, Chiefs picked up the three points and went to the top of the Absa Premiership while Leopards suffered their first defeat of the league season.
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Parker 11’ pen, Tshabalala 70’)
Black Leoaprds (0) 1 (Amidu 89’)
Chiefs: Khune; Gaxa, Zvasiya, Mashamaite (Mathoho 84’), Jambo, Yeye, Tshabalala, Dladla (Katsande 72’), Lebese (Masango 87’), Parker, Nkhatha
Leopards: Mtshali, Dzaga, Khoza, Nyirenda, Xakane, Mabunda, Tshepe (Gumede 88’), Ramagalela, Obaje (Zulu 76’), Monama, Mongalo (Amidu 52’)