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Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Sabelo Radebe inspired performances raise Kaizer Chiefs' hope of a CAF berth

Ramahlwe Mphahlele of Kaizer Chiefs (c) celebrates scoring the winner against SekhukhuneGavin Barker/BackpagePix

Ramahlwe Mphahlele of Kaizer Chiefs (c) celebrates scoring the winner against SekhukhuneGavin Barker/BackpagePix

Published May 15, 2022

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Cape Town - Man of the Match Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Sabelo Radebe were the star performers for triumphant Kaizer Chiefs in their slender 1-0 win over Sekhukhune United.

It has raised hopes of landing a CAF berth when the season ends later this month.

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Central defender Mphahlele scored the all-important matchwinner at Emirates Airline Park, on Saturday afternoon.

He was also instrumental in helping the team to record a second PSL DStv Premiership clean sheet in three matches after he blocked a goal-bound shot by Sekhukhune's well-travelled striker Prince Nxumalo early in the second half.

Mphahlele has strong emotional ties with the venue back in the days when it was famously known as Ellis Park. He made his PSL debut there for Swallows as a 17-year-old in 2007, when he was still at school.

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Chiefs' caretaker co-coach Arthur Zwane praised the seasoned Mphahlele for supporting fellow defender Siyabonga Ngezana who battled to contain Sekhukhune's live Zimbabwean striker Charlton Mashumba, who posed a danger in central positions in the striking zone.

“He led the team very well at the back and waS guiding Siya as well," said Zwane. "Siya started very, very slow, but the confidence got better during the game . i am just happy for them. Let us hope we take this to the next game."

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Radebe featured strongly as an attacking midfielder and was deployed behind striker Khama Billiat. He was a veritable source of attacking opportunities and on the evidence of Saturday's display, he was clearly under-used this season.

He came within a whisker of joining Mphahlele on the scoresheet. However, his header effort was denied by Zambian goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata in the second half.

“So, I’m happy for Sabelo and many other players and Rama as well," said Zwane. “At this level, you want to win games. Sometimes you win them scrappy like this one in the second half.

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'What is key right now is to grind out results, build on that and gain confidence. This will help the boys to start believing in themselves even more.

“I’m happy seeing Sabelo fighting and fit in so well. I’m happy for him.

"Hopefully, he’ll start enjoying himself because he is one player that is very, very good on the ball and at Kaizer Chiefs, we want to play football. We don’t just want to kick the ball forward."

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Next week, Chiefs sign off for the season with a home fixture at FNB Stadium for the Soweto Derby against Swallows.

Sekhukhune will be travelling further North for an away fixture and will wrap up their season against Marumo Gallants, who will end their season a week later against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup final at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

@Herman_Gibbs

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