Kazier Chiefs open season with 6-0 victory
The Olympic Games have provided much-needed entertainment in the past few weeks, but football is slowly reclaiming its gold-medal position in South African sports fans’ hearts.
First there was the Black Label Cup, then the MTN8 and now the Premier Soccer League season has begun.
Kaizer Chiefs lost in penalties in the Black Label Cup and were last week put to the sword by Sundowns in the MTN8 quarter finals. The onus was on them to respond, not just to those two defeats, but also to Pirates’ opening-day victory.
And what a response it was.
Six goals with no reply left Chiefs fans in the warmest of moods. They had thronged to the stadium to witness the return of crowd favourite Simphiwe Tshabalala. And he and his teammates didn’t disappoint.
The Amazulu defence is renowned for being as tight as a locked door. But in Shabba, Amakhosi has a locksmith; his creativity proved a menace throughout the night.
Yet the night belonged to forward Bernard Parker; his four goals ranged from simple to classy and then back to simple.
Both sides traded chances early on – Vilakazi, Senamela and Dlamini for the hosts, Nkhatha and Shabba for the visitors. Indeed Amazulu proved more than a match for Chiefs at first. But only for 38 minutes.
Parker opened his scoring spree just before the half and Nkatha added a second three minutes later as Amazulu’s defence failed to clear Shabalala’s corner.
In the second half Amazulu came oh-so close to pulling a goal back when the lively Senamela thumprf the crossbar from 25 yards. That was as close as they would come.
The Chiefs scored their third goal two minutes later (Parker) and then went on the rampage with Parker’s third and fourth goals. Nkosi added a sixth late on.
The scoreline was a bit generous on Chiefs, as Amazulu were really not that bad. Similar performances will beat other teams this year, but they were clearly unprepared. Last week’s cancelled pre-season tournament proved their undoing – they tired as the game went on.
Chiefs will now look back at the MTN8 defeat with a wry smile, as it helped them to work on their weaknesses.
Amazulu, however, have not adequately replaced Thamsanqa Sangweni in the heart of the midfield. He was their best player last season, and was a key performer when Sundown humiliated this Chiefs outfit a week ago, marking Parker out of the game.
Last night, he was sorely missed. No wonder Parker shone like a bright star on the night – a night Amazulu will want to forget fast.