Chiefs go three points clear

Kaizer Chiefs moved three points clear at the top of the Absa Premiership with a 2-0 win over Golden Arrows at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Amakhosi struggled to get going in the first 45 minutes, but second-half goals from Erick Mathoho and Kingston Nkhatha saw them power to an important three points ahead of their clash with second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.

Chiefs dominated possession from early on and forced the visitors onto the back foot. However, the Soweto giants found Arrows’ defence to be a stubborn barrier and they created few clear chances from which to test goalkeeper Arthur Bartman.

The Durban side, though they spent most of their time inside their own half, posed some threat with their pace on the break, but pushed too few players forward and the Amakhosi were always able to outnumber them and win possession back before stand-in goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo could come under fire.

Chiefs’ Siboniso Gaxa had the best chance of the first half about four minutes before the interval. The overlapping right-back beautifully controlled a perfectly-weighted ball over the defence from Willard Katsande, but he hesitated with only Bartman to beat and ended up dragging his shot wide of the target.

The Amakhosi upped their game early in the second half and opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. Siphiwe Tshabalala provided a perfect in-swinging cross from the right flank and tall defender Erick Mathoho glanced home a header to make it 1-0.

The pair almost combined for a second goal from a free kick 14 minutes later, but this time Mathoho timed the header wrong and failed to direct an effort on target.

Kingston Nkhatha had no such problems in the 69th minute when he doubled Chiefs’ advantage. George Lebese and Tsepo Masilela combined down the left to set up the Zimbabwean striker, who guided a left-footed shot into the net via the inside of the post.

Chiefs were able to see out the remainder of the game in comfort as they reserved their energy for the big clash against the Brazilians at the weekend.

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 2 (Mathoho 53’, Nkhatha 69’)

Golden Arrows 0

Teams:

Kaizer Chiefs: Khuzwayo, Gaxa, Mathoho, Mashamaite, Masilela, Maluleka, Katsande, Nkosi (Lebese 46’), Tshabalala, Parker (Mphela 78’), Nkhatha (Rusike 85’)

Golden Arrows: Bartman, Zwane, Musonda, Nene, Ntombayithethi, Shange (Bester 75’), Sikhakhane, Moholo (Khuboni 78’), Mlotshwa (Ntuli 56’), Mngwengwe, Katongo