Baccus the hero as Kaizer Chiefs hit back to beat Cape Town City
CAPE TOWN – Kearyn Baccus wrote his name into Kaizer Chiefs folklore after his first goal for the club secured a 2-1 victory over Cape Town City at Newlands on Tuesday night.
Baccus, who was born in Durban but hails from Australia, broke the hearts of Benni McCarthy’s men when he finished with great aplomb with 10 minutes left.
That strike sent the Amakhosi faithful into delirium at the Newlands rugby stadium, and was a reminder of the atmosphere in Mzansi during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Up to that point, it had been a largely frustrating night for the visitors, who conceded early on when Kermit Erasmus opened the scoring for City in the fourth minute.
Chiefs defender Daniel Cardoso, though, equalised with a superb header in the 76th minute, which opened the way for Baccus’ late heroics.
But it was certainly City who were quicker out of the blocks. McCarthy flooded the midfield in order to neutralise the likes of Khama Billiat and Lebogang Manyama, while using Erasmus in a roaming role upfront.
And the Bafana striker found the back of the net with a wonderful goal early in the first half.
Having been released down the left-hand side, Erasmus moved into space, and then wrong-footed the towering Chiefs defender Eric Mathoho.
He then cut the ball back to the near post, beating Daniel Akpeyi with an excellent finish.
That goal got the home crowd buzzing, and City enjoyed more possession in the first half and placed the Chiefs defence under pressure.
But Ernst Middendorp’s outfit clawed their way back into the game, and could’ve had an equaliser as early as the 13th minute when Lazarous Kambole had a header inside the box.
The Zambian, though, somehow managed to direct the ball over the crossbar when it seemed easier to score.
Manyama, up against his former team, showed some classy touches as usual, but wasted a free kick – after Billiat was brought down – when he missed the target in the 15th minute.
Chiefs proved that they had worked hard on their set-pieces after the 30-minute mark when George Maluleka chipped a free kick for Mathoho to attack, but the Bafana defender blasted his effort over the top.
Erasmus, meanwhile, was the lone threat for Cape Town City, and he nearly had a second goal close to halftime, but his shot was well saved by Daniel Akpeyi.
The Amakhosi were unfortunate not to win a penalty when Reeve Frosler was brought down in the box, but the referee waved play on.
It looked like it was a matter of when, and not if, Chiefs would equalise, and they nearly thought they had it when Billiat pounced just after halftime, but it was ruled out due to an offside.
The big moment came with 14 minutes left, when Cardoso connected with Manyama’s cross to lift the roof off Newlands.
And before City could find their feet again, Baccus latched on a rebound from a shot by Manyama to put Chiefs into the lead, and they held on for a vital win to extend their lead at the top of the table to four, as they have 10 points to Wits’ six.
City drop down to eighth position with five points.@ashfakmohamed