Chiefs romp to win in Gqeberha

Kaizer Chiefs kept up their push to finish second on the DStv Premiership log after they claimed a 3-1 away win over Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha on Saturday evening.

The Amakhosi triumphed thanks to goals from Samir Nurkovic, Keagan Dolly and Cole Alexander, with the Chilli Boys’ Bienvenue Eva Nga continuing his prolific season with a strike for the hosts early in the second half.

The result sees third-placed Chiefs close back to within two points of second-placed Royal AM (who had gone five clear in the battle for the runners-up spot with a thumping win at TS Galaxy earlier in the day), while Chippa are 13th – three points clear of the relegation zone.

Chiefs made a bright start and forced Chippa goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua into a couple of significant involvements, though it was the visitors who were inches away from an early goal: a 10th minute move saw Azola Matrose set up Bienvenu Eva Nga with a great chance, but the striker’s glanced effort hit the far post and rebounded away to safety.

The Amakhosi responded well to this scare and should have gone ahead through Samir Nurkovic on 16 minutes, but he missed an open goal after Khama Billiat’s excellent cross had taken Kazapua out of the equation.

The Serbian was then denied by the Chippa ‘keeper three minutes later, with Kazapua making a fine save diving to his right to turn away the striker’s effort from the edge of the box.

However, Nurkovic would not be denied his first league goal of the season, finally netting in the 23rd minute when he finished off a great team move which also involved Bernard Parker and Billiat down the right flank.

The Chilli Boys had a couple of promising attacking moments in the latter stages of the first half, with the best arriving in the 43rd minute when Riaan Hanamub’s pull-back teed up Siphelele Luthuli, who struck high and wide to leave the game 1-0 in favour of Chiefs at the interval.

However, the visitors needed less than a minute after the restart to equalise: Eva Nga ran onto Tebogo Makobela’s ball over the top of the defence – with more than a hint of offside about the incident, though the flag stayed down – and proceeded to stroke a left-footed shot past Brandon Peterson to make it 1-1.

Chiefs looked to reclaim the lead and built up attacking pressure as the second half progressed, with Kearyn Baccus directing a headed effort onto the crossbar after Kazapua had failed to cleanly claim a corner kick, while the introductions of Cole Alexander and Keagan Dolly gave them further impetus.

In fact, Dolly put the Soweto side back in front in the 75th minute. The substitute struck home from a free kick routine on the ‘D’ of Chippa’s box, beating Kazapua with a curled, left-footed shot which the ‘keeper got a hand on but could not prevent hitting the back of the net.

And Chiefs ensured that they would not have a nervy ending to the game when they claimed a third goal on 88 minutes: Alexander got on the end of Njabulo Blom’s cross from the right and swept a shot past Kazapua at the near post to end the game as a contest.

The teams will return to DStv Premiership action in the coming midweek, with Chiefs at home to TS Galaxy and Chippa away to SuperSport United.

Chippa United (0) 1 (Eva Nga 46’)

Kaizer Chiefs (1) 3 (Nurkovic 23’, Dolly 75’, Alexander 88’)

Chippa: Kazapua, Zulu, Mthethwa, Pietersen, Hanamub, Makobela (Seabi 79’), Mdlinzo (Mdunyelwa 79’), Mkhize, Matrose (Ngele 64’), Luthuli (Sekotlong 46’), Eva Nga

Chiefs: Peterson, Ngezana, Mphahlele, Dube, Frosler (Cardoso 83’), Blom, Nange (Alexander 70’), Baccus, Billiat, Parker (Dolly 70’), Nurkovic