Chiefs scrape past SundownsComment on this story
A solitary goal from Thomas Sweswe was enough to see Kaizer Chiefs hand Mamelodi Sundowns only their second loss of the Absa Premiership this season after going down 1-0 at Loftus stadium on Sunday afternoon.
And although it will be a memorable game for Sweswe who scored his first ever goal in the PSL, the glory of the Amakhosi win fell on the shoulders of their goalkeeper Arthur Bartman who produced a number of quality saves and was rightly awarded the Man of the Match.
The game itself was one which the Brazilians dominated as they controlled the possession stakes and had the majority of shots on goal. But after some stubborn defence from the Phefeni Glamour Boys and brilliant goalkeeping from Bartman, Chiefs were able to hold on for the win and move to 24 points on the log, joint third spot.
For ‘Downs, they will be bitterly upset that they were unable to make their dominance count and rue the number of missed opportunities in front of goal.
Still, Chiefs did start the better of the two teams when they took the lead in the 12th minute after Sweswe got onto the end of a superbly weighted right-wing free-kick from Siphiwe Tshabalala. The Amakhosi defender took his chance with both hands, heading the ball home past a stranded Wayne Sandilands, 1-0.
After going behind, the Brazilians threw everything forward in attack, but found a formidable Bartman in their way of an equaliser.
In the 18th minute Nyasha Mushekwi drove through the middle of the Chiefs defence and found himself with only the keeper to beat, but Bartman produced a good one-on-one save.
Nine minutes later Themba Zwane pulled a pass back for Elias Pelembe on the edge of the 18-yard box, but his shot was superbly saved by Bartman diving low to his right.
In the 32nd minute ‘Downs were not denied by Bartman, but rather by the woodwork as a 25-yard shot from Teko Modise had the beating of Bartman but struck the left post and bounced away from danger.
The second half was more of the same as Chiefs defended for all their worth, while Sundowns pushed everyone forward.
Still, the Brazilians only real chance of the half came in the 59th minute and who else but Bartman was there to deny them again.
The Amakhosi goalie produced another great double save, first to deny Siyanda Xulu from close range after a goalmouth scramble and then punching the ball away as it pin-balled around six-yard box.
In the end, the home side could not break down the Chiefs defence who walked away with a vital win. Three points which probably kept their coach, Vladimir Vermezovic, in a job.
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 0
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Sweswe 12’)
Sundowns: Sandilands, Xulu, Ngubane, Daniels, Masenamela (Mokoena 83’), Kekana (Moriri 75’), Henyekane (Mphela 53’), Zwane, Pelembe, Modise, Mushekwi
Chiefs: Bartman, Tau, Zvasiya, Swewe, Jambo, Nale (Letsholonyane 46’), Nengomasha, Baloyi, Tshabalala, Parker (Lebese 74’), Majoro (Yende 89’)