JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs ended a run of two consecutive defeats in league and cup to beat Maritzburg United 2-0 at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.
A first-half goal from Gustavo Paez and one in the second half from Dumisani Zuma in front of a sparsely populated home crowd in Soweto was enough for Chiefs to see off a somewhat off-colour Maritzburg side missing a couple of their top performers through suspension.
After an evenly balanced start to the game, Chiefs had the first chance of the afternoon when a mistake in the visitors' defence in the 13th minute allowed Gustavo Paez to tee up George Maluleka, who should have scored from 15 yards out but instead blazed the ball over the bar.
Amakhosi were to take control of the match and only a tight off-side call kept the score-line at 0-0 after Maluleka had poked a cross in from close range on 20 minutes.
The breakthrough came in the 29th minute when Siphiwe Tshabalala invited Paez to shoot from the edge of the area and the Venezuelan took the chance with a low half-volley which seemed to take a slight deflection before beating Maritzburg keeper Bongani Mpandle.
The Glamour Boys had chances to extend their lead, but Maluleka was marginally off-target with a shot from 25-yards before Bernard Parker skied an effort over the bar from well inside the box a few minutes before halftime.
With Maritzburg happy to sit back and look to hit on the counter, the early stages of the second half were mainly confined to midfield and it was only on the hour mark that the next clear-cut chance arrived as Tshabalala struck a venomous shot from 30-yards just wide.
The lead was doubled in the 67th minute when substitute Dumisani Zuma ran onto a through ball and neatly lobbed the on-rushing Mpandle, the ball hitting the upright before going in.
From then on, Chiefs had no trouble in holding on for the win, neither goalkeeper tested in the final 25 minutes as caretaker coach Patrick Mabedi recorded a first victory in his second game in charge as Amakhosi moved up Maritzburg into the third position on the league table.