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Crisis-hit Chiefs plumb the depths of despair with a fourth consecutive defeat

Cole Alexander of Kaizer Chiefs passes the ball during their DStv Premiership match against Cape Town City at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday

Cole Alexander of Kaizer Chiefs passes the ball during their DStv Premiership match against Cape Town City at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Published Apr 30, 2022

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Cape Town — Crisis-hit Kaizer Chiefs are plumbing the depths of despair after 2-1 winners Cape Town City consigned them to a fourth consecutive defeat in their DStv Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The outcome enhances City's chances of clinching a season-ending runners-up slot behind champions Mamelodi Sundowns. City are now in third position and one point behind second-placed Royal AM. Chiefs now find themselves in the fifth position on the latest standings.

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Chiefs were playing their second rescheduled game in the space of four days after they won their arbitration against the Premier Soccer League (PSL). As a result, SAFA arbitrator Nazeer Cassim SC ordered that the matches that did not take place in December last year due to the Covid-19 outbreak to be played.

Initially, City threatened to interdict the rescheduling of this game against Chiefs after the PSL acted in accordance with the SAFA arbitrator's ruling. The PSL have, however, appealed against the ruling which will be reviewed at the High Court on May 10. Should the PSL appeal be successful, Chiefs will forfeit both matches and will be declared 3-0 losers. If the PSL loses the appeal, the results of the two rescheduled matches will remain.

On Wednesday, Chiefs lost a nail-biter 2-1 against Lamontville Golden Arrows, and today it was more of the same.

City who were forced to play without their DR Congo international defender Nathan Idumba as a result of a midweek yellow card against Mamelodi Sundowns, started off with a high-pressure game. It was clear their plan was to unsettle Chiefs and deny them a chance to impose themselves on the game.

Chiefs enjoyed a lion's share of possession from the outset. City were forced onto a defensive role as they sat back and absorbed the pressure. City used their pace well when they turned over the ball. Their pace up front proved threatening on the odd occasion when they transferred play to the Chiefs goalmouth.

It was midfielder Craig Martin's pace that proved City undoing in the 14th minute. Chiefs' central defender Daniel Cardoso who replaced blunder buster Njabulo Ngcobo in the starting XI, gained control of a crossfield kick and tamely headed the ball to his goalkeeper Brandon Petersen. Martin nipped in between the two Chiefs players to intercept and then booted the ball into an empty net (1-0).

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Ngcobo's blunder gifted Arrows an opening goal in the midweek fixture and Chiefs were unable to recover. As it turned out, it was again the same today as Chiefs again lost by a 2-1 margin.

Despite their grip on the match, Chiefs' ,were playing like headless chicken. City allowed them to build-up launch build-up movements from deep options but when they approached the City goalmouth they made little headway. Often they played the ball back towards the halfway line.

Chiefs had no answer to taking play into the final third as City's defence kept chasing them down with snappy challenges.

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Four minutes ahead of the break, a City transition play nearly paid off after midfielder Jaeden Rhodes outstripped the Chiefs down the left flank. His goalmouth cross was fluffed by striker Mduduzi Mdatsene whose shot was blocked plumb in front of the opposition goal.

On the stroke of halftime, Chiefs were awarded a close-in free-kick but striker Khama Billiat struck his attempt wide of the target.

Chiefs were off to a rousing start when second-half play commenced and there were half-chances for Keagan Dolly and Billiat but none were converted. Their failure to exploit their good fortune came back to haunt them later.

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Against the run of play, City went 2-0 ahead when Terrence Mashego scored his first league since joining the Cape outfit two seasons ago. He was sent clear out wide on the left flank and after he worked his into the Chiefs goalmouth his shot from an angled position skidded off the body of goalkeeper Brandon Peterson into the goals (2-0).

There was a consolation goal for Chiefs from substitute Dumisani Zuma seven minutes from the end as City consigned Chiefs to their fourth defeat on the trot.

@Herman_Gibbs

IOL Sport

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