Durban – A last-minute penalty goal from Keagan Dolly earned Kaizer Chiefs a dramatic 1-1 draw with AmaZulu in an entertaining game at the Kings Park Stadium in Durban.
Chiefs were controversially awarded a penalty in second-half stoppage time when replays suggested that there was no handball by any Usuthu player.
Usuthu earlier took the lead through Luyuvo Memela who scored his first goal of the season in the 47th minute as he met a pinpoint pass from team-mate Keagan Buchanan before calmly slotting beyond the reach of Chiefs keeper Daniel Akpeyi.
The opening period of the game was scrappy which has been symbolic of the play of both teams in their opening games of the season.
The first good opportunity fell to Chiefs in the 22nd minute. Some beautiful interplay from the Amakhosi led to Khama Billiat picking out team-mate Keagan Dolly who forced a brilliant save from Usuthu keeper Veli Mothwa from close range.
Three minutes later Bernard Parker used his intelligence to pick out Cole Alexander with a pass. Using his weaker foot, the experienced Alexander connected but his effort was too weak to trouble Mothwa.
Just a minute thereafter, Chiefs keeper Akpeyi was forced into a spectacular save of his own. Mbongeni Gumede whipped in a ball for Usuthu which was met by Sandile Khumalo and Akpeyi made a vital save from close range.
AmaZulu dominated in terms of structure and territory but Mothwa was forced into another special save in the 36th minute as Phathushedzo Nange picked out Parker with a forward dink before Mothwa showed good awareness to block the veteran’s shot.
Mothwa was again to the rescue on the stroke of half time as Khama Billiat pounced on poor defending from Keagan Buchanan and struck a rocket of a shot which forced good reflexes from the Usuthu number one.
Memela had an opportunity to double his tally shortly after scoring in the second half but Akpeyi got the better off him with a smart save from close range.
In what will be promising for AmaZulu, they have now scored in their last three consecutive games after having failed to score in their opening three games of the season. Usuthu also welcomed back one of their key players from last season who made his return from injury and was introduced as substitute for Memela late in the game.
Next up for AmaZulu will be a strong test of character when they prepare to host African football giants TP Mazembe immediately after the international break in two weeks time in a CAF Champions League Second preliminary round first leg clash in Durban.
Kaizer Chiefs next match will see them reunite with former coach Gavin Hunt for the first time since parting ways with him in May as they host Chippa United at the FNB Stadium after the international break.