Kaizer Chiefs hammer Cape Town City to end birthday weekend on a high
JOHANNESBURG – Two matches, two unanswered hat-tricks. That has been the order of the week as Amakhosi continued to somewhat carve themselves as sole favourites for the Absa Premiership title.
After defeating Highlands Park by the same margin on this ground on Wednesday night, Kaizer Chiefs put Cape Town City to the sword with relatively an identical performance and results on Sunday.
Much to the club’s blissful week, Sunday’s win was just the perfect icing to the club’s 50th birthday celebrations as coach Ernst Midddendorp’s men had already showered the club with the birthday present with that 3-0 win over the Lions of the North on Wednesday night, a day after Amakhosi turned 50.
But in the name of closing off the week that was, Chiefs continued to crack their whip on their counterparts and thus making their intentions of winning the league title, and ending their four-year trophy drought, in the club’s historic year clearer.
Today’s maximum points stretched their lead at the summit of the log standings to the nine points with 13 games to play this season – a lead that’s almost daring the rest of the title rivals Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns, who were busy with continental duty this weekend, to “catch us if you can”.
But despite being on cloud with the resurgence, it will, however, take mental strength for Middendorp’s consolidate their lead at the top – especially with Sundowns, who are back-to-back champions, having proven in the last two seasons that how you finish doesn’t necessarily determine how you finish.
But for Chiefs’ players, who week in and week out advocate that they are doing it for the badge and restoration of the club’s glory days, know that a lot more is at stake – especially for those in the last six months of their contracts.
And with such pressure to deliver and impress Middendorp and his technical team, that has seen the rebirth of players, notably Leonardo Castro, whose contract will also come to an end in June.
The Colombian international, though, has been going on about his resurgence with aplomb as his delightful first half header, which was assisted by Kearyn Baccus, gave Chiefs the lead heading into the recess.
This was the Castro’s third goals in two matches, after being a brace hero against the Lions of the North midweek, while he’s notched up eight goals in all competitions this season.
But while Chiefs had the advantage into the break, but they had a nervy ending to the stanza as Mduduzi Mdantsane nearly equalised on the stroke of the first 45 minutes but only for his curling close-range effort to be palmed away for a corner by Daniel Akpeyi.
Had that Mdantsane shot found the net that could have well-rewarded the Citizens efforts as they had made a nuisance of themselves in front of Chiefs’ defence for the better part of the half.
But as Jan Olde Riekerink’s men continued to test the waters in the early stages of the first half, Chiefs opened their floodgates – as they wrapped up the tie with two more headers from Samir Nurkovic and Eric Mathoho.
Against the run of play and on the right flank, Dumisani Zuma, Chiefs’ super-sub, launched a telling delivery that teed up Nurkovic, whose whisked the ball into Peter Leuwenburgh’s far post.
And in a flash, Chiefs were 3-0 up. This time Mathoho, who was assisted by a George Maluleka corner-kick, had put his side in the driving seat after his header rattled the roof of an empty net – as Leuwenburgh had already committed.