Siphiwe Tshabalala celebrates scoring the only goal for Kaizer Chiefs against Platinum Stars on Saturday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

RUSTENBURG – Veteran Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala was the difference in a 1-0 league win against Platinum Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday evening.

Without a win in five league games, the Glamour Boys looked a bit nervy and disjointed in the opening stanza in Rustenburg.

But they showed more purpose and belief in the second half, and were able to collect a much-needed three points after a midweek defeat to Chippa United had increased the pressure on head coach Steve Komphela.

Chiefs were close to going in front on seven minutes when Dumisani Zuma came within inches of getting a touch on an inviting cross from Joseph Molangoane, while Stars striker Bongi Ntuli wasted an opportunity when he dragged his shot wide of the near post after beating two defenders in the box.

But apart from that there was little in the way of early entertainment as both teams turned over possession too easily with too many mistakes being made.

And although Chiefs were to enjoy a decent amount of the play, there was a lack of penetration up front as all too often promising moves fizzled out. 

Amakhosi keeper Itumeleng Khune was called into action six minutes after the restart, and he did well to keep out a stinging shot from a tight angle by Sibusiso Msomi before making another excellent save on Vuyo Mere’s free kick.

At the other end, Molangoane should have done better with a free header eight yards out, but he headed weakly at Stars keeper Dino Visser.

The introduction of Tshabalala and Bernard Parker breathed new life into the Soweto giants, and it was Tshabalala who got the goal Chiefs so badly needed when he scored with an excellently taken diving header 20 minutes from time following a great cross from Philani Zulu.

The goal served to add to Chiefs’ growing confidence in the second half, and they were able to comfortably play out for the win as Dikwena offered very little in the way of an attempted fightback.

African News Agency (ANA)