BETHLEHEM, September 19 – Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas grabbed his second league win of the season on Tuesday night with a 2-0 victory at Goble Park over his former club Free State Stars.
The objective was achieved with a much changed team – only four players made the starting line-up on Tuesday out of the eleven who began the game in the 4-1 win over Cape Town City last weekend.
The result takes Chiefs up to third place on the table, above Orlando Pirates – who play Cape Town City on Wednesday – on goal difference.
There were half-chances early on for both teams as Judas Moseamedi flashed a header wide for Free State Stars after a great cross from Yusuf Jappie, before Mario Booysen also missed with a header after a corner kick on 14 minutes.
The deadlock was broken in the 25th minute when a delightfully-weighted pass from Khama Billiat played in Gustavo Paez, whose dinked effort deflected off goalkeeper Badra Sangare and into the net for his first goal of the season.
Having survived a couple of anxious moments in their own box, Amakhosi doubled the advantage just nine minutes later with another well-taken goal as Hendrick Ekstein located Philani Zulu at the back post, the former Maritzburg United player’s first touch assured before his second ended up in the net via a thumping half-volley from a tight angle.
The second half saw the game grow a lot tighter – although there was good intensity shown from both sides, goal scoring opportunities remained at a premium and it was only in the 69th minute that a clear chance materialised as Goodman Dlamini fired into the side-netting from a tight angle.
The hosts continued to press for a way back into the contest and nearly pulled a goal back three minutes later, when Paulus Masehe’s thunderous drive flew past the top corner by a matter of inches before Eleazar Rodgers missed the target with only Itumeleng Khune to beat in the 83rd minute.
That was to be Stars’ last real sniff at goal as Amakhosi secured their second win of the season over the Free State outfit after their 3-0 victory in the MTN8 quarterfinals. (ANA)