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Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs continued their march towards the league title with a hard-fought but ultimately comfortable 2-0 win over rock-bottom Chippa United at the Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night.
The first goal was netted by Kaizer Motaung Junior just before the hour mark, with Kingston Nkhatha adding a second in the closing minutes.
The Cape side played with guts and determination, but never really troubled the Chiefs' goalkeeper.
The home side, who had former Manchester City striker Benjani Mwaruwari on the bench, played some good football in the opening half, belying their lowly log position against the league's pace-setters.
Chiefs started strongly though and had a couple of half chances early on, but defender Tefu Mashamaite was off target with his headed chances from two of several corners the visiting side earned, while Nkhatha also sent a decent opportunity wide.
After keeping AmaKhosi at bay for the opening 15 minutes, the home side began to stamp their authority on the game, thanks in part to the efforts of Brent Carelse and Buyani Sali in the middle of the park.
There was a chance for Stanton Lewis midway through the stanza, but the striker was unable to finish from a cross, sending his effort over the bar.
The best opportunity of the half came just before the break when William Twala picked out Sali in the box - the diminutive midfielder meeting the ball at the near post but flashing his header across the goal-mouth.
Sali's good work was however undone when his night ended prematurely, his 53rd minute dismissal courtesy of a foul on Willard Katsande in what appeared a rather harsh decision.
Five minutes later and things got even worse for the Chilli Boys when they found themselves a goal down.
Motaung Junior was the goal-scorer, netting with a simple header after Mashamaite had flicked a long throw into his path.
A few minutes later and an error from Mbulelo Mabizela nearly saw Nkhatha adding to the score-line, but goal-keeper Daouda Kassaly did well to get in a block.
With 20 minutes to go, one-time Jomo Cosmos target-man Mwaruwari marked his return to South African shores when he replaced Welcome Qalanto.
A period of sustained pressure followed from the Cape side, but the AmaKhosi defence was able to deal comfortably with a series of crosses into the box.
And there was time for the security of a second goal - Nkhatha firing home after Sthembiso Ngcobo's shot had been palmed into his path by Kassaly.
The win enabled Stuart Baxter's side to cement their position at the top of the log, leaving Chippa further entrenched at the bottom of the table. - Sapa