Chiefs ease pressure on Komphela with big win at Sundowns
Kaizer Chiefs brought some relief to coach Steve Komphela with a 2-1 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in their Absa Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday.
In the other fixture on the day, Bloemfontein Celtic secured an excellent 1-0 away victory at a much-changed Cape Town City, where the latter's hangover from their MTN8 final loss at the weekend was all too evident.
Chiefs' victory, which comes four days before they meet bitter rivals Orlando Pirates in the Soweto Derby, was achieved thanks to a goal on debut by teenage right-back Siyabonga Ngezana and another strike by veteran forward Bernard Parker.
Themba Zwane pulled a goal back from the penalty spot with eight minutes remaining, but for fancied Sundowns it was a second loss in five league matches this season.
The kick-off for the match was delayed by 20 minutes as the crowd battled to gain entrance to the venue on time, and it was Sundowns who made the better start as they had Chiefs on the back-foot from the off.
However, Parker struck the crossbar midway through the opening period, the closest anybody came to a goal before halftime.
Chiefs took the lead five minutes into the second period when Ngezana bundled the ball home at the back post from a free-kick, and that goal seemed to spur the visitors on.
Parker added a second with 20 minutes remaining after being played in on goal by Hendrik Ekstein and providing a composed finish.
It got worse for the home side when they lost midfielder Tiyani Mabunda to a second yellow card a few minutes later, but they were handed a lifeline when Eric Mathoho brought down Percy Tau in the box.
Zwane stepped up to convert, but Sundowns could not find an equaliser in the eight minutes that remained.
In Cape Town, the honours deservedly went to Celtic as they created by far the better chances and might have won by a greater margin.
City had made eight changes from the side that lost on penalties to SuperSport United in the MTN8 decider at the weekend, and looked disjointed and flat in their performance.
They had just a single shot on target all game, while Celtic carved them open with embarrassing ease at times.
The vital goal was scored on 67 minutes by Kabelo Mahlasela as he danced his way into the box and slipped the ball past goalkeeper Sage Stephens.