Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs got their campaign to a good start with a 1-0 victory over Free State Stars in their Premiership match at Charles Mopeli Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
George Lebese scored the only goal of the match early in the second half to give Amakhosi three valuable points away from home.
It was the visitors who started better as Mandla Masango powered his effort inches over the cross bar from a freekick on the edge of the box in the second minute.
Goalkeeper Daouda Diakite came to Stars' rescue in the 29th minute as he denied Masango, diving full stretch to his left to push out a ferocious shot for a corner.
In the 38th minute Stars defender, Dacosta Angula miscued a clearance from a Chiefs cross and the ball nearly beat his own goalkeeper, Diakite.
Stars were dealt a blow when Diakite had to be stretchered off after he slipped taking a goalkick in the 42nd minute.
Ayanda Mtshali came on as his replacement.
Chiefs' persistence eventually paid off in the 54th minute as miscommunication between the two Stars central defenders gifted Lebese a chance and he buried it to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Tefu Mashamaite breached the Stars defence's offside trap but his goal-bound header was parried out for a corner by goalkeeper Mtshali in the 64th minute.
Keeper Mtshali pulled off a great save in the 74th minute to block a Tsepo Masilela cross from reaching Kingston Nkhatha who was in a good position to double the Chiefs lead.
Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter was satisfied with the one goal and decided to close shop in the 78th minute, as he replaced Lebese with a centre-back, Morgan Gould. – Sapa