Philani Zulu thanks Hendrick Ekstein for the assist after scoring for Kaizer Chiefs against Free State Stars. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – After a difficult start to his tenure as Kaizer Chiefs coach, Giovanni Solinas must be smiling now.

Having failed to register a victory in their first five Absa Premiership matches, the Amakhosi stunned Cape Town City 4-1 at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

And they followed it up just a few days later with a 2-0 win over Free State Stars at Goble Park in Bethlehem on Tuesday night.

Solinas showed a creative side to him as well, taking a gamble by making seven changes to his starting line-up for the Stars clash.

Many Amakhosi fans wondered on social media whether he had gone too far to virtually overhaul the team, but everything worked out.

George Maluleka was the Man of the Match, Gustavo Paez opened the scoring, and Hendrick Ekstein provided the assist for Philani Zulu’s thunderous finish.

Ea Lla Koto had a number of opportunities to hit back in the second half, but couldn’t find the target, and Itumeleng Khune and his team could celebrate three more precious points.

“We played well, I am happy for the result. It’s a pity for Free State Stars, because it’s my former team. But this is the football, no? I am happy because my boys played well,” Solinas told SuperSport TV in a post-match interview.

“In this game, we needed to refresh the team… give the chance to other players. Everybody performed well, great performance. So, we need to continue to work hard, and also continue to improve.”

Now Chiefs set their sights on their third game in a week when they host AmaZulu at the FNB Stadium on Saturday (6pm kickoff).

“Tomorrow, we have regeneration training. Only the players who didn’t play today will train, and other players will have regeneration,” Solinas said.

“Afterwards, we need rest and to recover, (get) energy. We prepare for our next game against AmaZulu, which is a very important game for us. We play at home, we need the three points.

“We need to continue to improve our philosophy. We need a focus in our target, our job. We are Kaizer Chiefs, don’t forget – we are a big club. The expectation is very high, and it’s not possible to disappoint our fans.

“Our fans are unbelievable, and deserve a good team. We put in the effort to make our fans happy.”



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