Chiefs overcome spirited Highlands Park in Durban
DURBAN – Kaizer Chiefs rounded off their home league games at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban with a 3-2 victory over Highlands Park on Saturday.
Goals from Bernard Parker, Leonardo Castro, and Dumisani Zuma were enough to see Chiefs prevail against the Lions of the North, who scored through Bevan Fransman and Lesenya Ramoraka.
Amakhosi produced an inspired second-half display to end their three-match winless streak to move into fifth place in the Absa Premiership.
After losing 1-0 to Polokwane City in their previous game, Chiefs were under pressure to perform, and they found Highlands Park a tough nut to crack in their first league game at Moses Mabhida this season.
Both teams failed to create any meaningful chances in the first half an hour.
The game only came alive after 30 minutes when Ramahlwe Mphahlele found himself in a perfect position to open the scoring after a cross delivered by Philani Zulu. But, the defender, who did well to get between Fransman and Siphiwe Msimango, could send his header wide of the target.
Five minutes later, Amakhosi, were caught in sixes and sevens at the back, allowing Sabelo Nyembe acres of space to manoeuvre. He beat Mphahlele for pace but failed to get the better of Daniel Akpeyi between the sticks. It was a huge let off for Chiefs as Nyembe was undone by poor execution.
However, Chiefs started to enjoy the bulk of the possession, and veteran Parker broke the deadlock with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
He profited from chaotic defending by the Lions of North. The visitors responded instantly as they snatched an equaliser two minutes later through Fransman.
The experienced lanky defender levelled matters for Highlands when he beat Akpeyi with a header.
Nyembe, who was having a bad day at the office in front of goals, missed another great chance to put the Lions of North in the lead when he shot straight at Akpeyi.
Chiefs regained the lead four minutes into the second half when Castro found the back of the net.
Ernst Middendorp’s gamble to sacrifice Teenage Hadebe for Siphosethu Ntitantiya worked wonders as the home side went in front.
Zuma put the game to bed when he swept past the Highlands Park defence and finished off the move by putting the ball in the back of the net after a pass from George Maluleka.
Poor communication between Kgotso Moleko, Akpeyi, and Mphahlele allowed Ramoraka to steal one back for Highlands Park.