Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs and Mpumalanga Black Aces coaches both gave a glowing review following their thrilling 2-1 Premiership spectacle at Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Chiefs made it two from two as they beat their hosts in front of a lively crowd who could not have asked for more.
Goals from Mandla Masango and Reneilwe Letsholonyane sealed the points for Amakhosi, who followed up their first win of the season against Free State Stars with another maximum tally.
Masango had put the Glamour Boys ahead inside the opening quarter, before Aubrey Ngoma scored his first goal for Aces after joining from Orlando Pirates before the new season.
But Letsholonyane restored Chiefs lead on the stroke of half-time, bringing an end to the goals, but not to the end-to-end action that followed in the second 45.
“It was a magnificent game. They say South Africans can’t play football, but if you edited 20 minutes of this game tonight you would have seen the best game in the world,” losing coach Clive Barker, who could not hide a smile, said afterwards.
“This was really exciting. Credit to both teams because it could have gone either way. I thought we kept ourselves in and a fantastic performance all-round.
“I think the people tonight really got their money’s worth. South African football needed a game like this, I can’t say enough about tonight I’m just so happy, I really enjoyed the whole game.”
Stuart Baxter, who walked away with the win but somehow managed to look less delighted, agreed with the veteran, Barker.
“I’m really pleased with the result and pleased with most of the performance,” the Briton said.
“I think this is a very good advertisement for South African football.”
Summing up a hectic opening half in which many struggled to catch their breath thanks to three quick-fire goals, Baxter admitted his team still lacked killer instinct.
“I think we played a very good game and for maybe 60 or 70 minutes of the game I was really pleased.
“We have this tendency to switch off and we switched off. You can’t do that against teams like Black Aces because they’re a good team.
“They’re only as good as we allow them to be and we allowed them to show us that they are a good team. They got back into the game towards the end of the first half, they then scored a great goal and then we had to dig deep.
“A piece of very good football gets us a second goal.” – Sapa