JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs completed an Absa Premiership double over Cape Town City here on Saturday night, the 1-0 victory made all the more sweeter by the fact that the hosts managed to cut the lead at the top to just four points.
It now makes for an intriguing championship race, although log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns – with a game in hand – still hold all the cards.
Ryan Moon bagged his fifth goal in six matches soon after the halftime break, the goal being the eventual winner and helping Chiefs leapfrog to second place behind the Brazilians, who will only be in action on Wednesday against Free State Stars.
City came into this clash tied on points with Amakhosi and hoping to keep their own hopes of a title win alive, and played with such intent in the opening minutes of this fixture until they were forced too deep by an attacking Chiefs side.
Teko Modise was the first to test goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune with a ferocious attempt, which the Amakhosi captain managed to punch away for a corner kick.
His opposite number was protected from having to do any work, although City were incredibly under siege.
Striker Moon had been anonymous before benefiting from a back-pass that went horribly wrong early in the second half, but his partner Leonardo Castro and winger Joseph Molangoane had been pulling the strings as Amakhosi enjoyed dominance.
Chiefs coach Steve Komphela rewarded the team that produced a fine 3-0 win over Golden Arrows in the Nedbank Cup a week ago at the same venue.
But both Siphelele Ntshangase and Castro were yet again withdrawn before the end of the match, Komphela slowly easing them back into full fitness.
The latter is adjusting quicker to his new surroundings, while Ntshangase seemed to struggle with the pace of the game and often gave away possession when Chiefs were in attack.
Moon, however, continued his free-scoring form with another important 47th-minute goal in this championship race that’s likely to right down to the wire.
Chiefs will be hoping Sundowns aren’t at the races on Wednesday night against a Stars side who are also considered to be dark horses in this chase – Ea Lla Koto being just six points behind Pitso Mosimane’s men and looking to consolidate their place in the top eight.
Komphela’s men have played their part up to now and are also desperate for a bit of luck for things to go their way.
When Sundowns visited the FNB Stadium last month, the coach felt they let them off the hook by playing to a goalless draw that meant they would need to look for the three points in another fixture instead of against the direct rivals for the title.
Amakhosi’s problem has been their inability to kill off the match, but they have been solid and the back and turned their defence into the best in the league at the moment – having managed to go unbeaten since December last year away at Chippa United.
But they will be on the edge of their seats in the final nine matches, hoping Sundowns slip up to give them control of the championship chase.