KAIZER Chiefs survived a couple of late scares from Platinum Stars as they held on for a 1-0 win at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday night.
Based on their first half showing though, it was certainly a deserved win for Chiefs.
Stars found themselves under the cosh from the very first minute as Chiefs attacked with pace and purpose, at a relentless rate.
It could have been a dream start to the game for the Soweto giants, but Bernard Parker’s superbly struck half volley from 18 yards smashed into the cross bar.
That was in the eighth minute, and eight minutes later Lehlohonolo Majoro squandered the opportunity to cap Chiefs’ strong start with a goal as he headed wide from Siphiwe Tshabalala’s in-swinging cross.
The AmaKhosi then appeared unlucky to be denied the opening goal in the 25th minute when Parker headed home, but he was ruled to be off-sides, or at least a couple of his team-mates were, either way, it was a debatable decision.
Chiefs continued to attack, but it looked as if Stars had done enough to keep their opponents at bay as the break approached.
But in injury time Lucky Baloyi broke the deadlock when he nodded in a corner at the near post.
The second half lacked the same intensity in its opening stages, which allowed Stars to finally come into the game, possession wise anyway.
There were two half chances for Joseph Malongoane, but the Stars midfielder’s long range shot was saved by Arthur Bartman, who also did well to dive at the feet of the same player 10 minutes later to halt his progress on goal.
As the game moved into the final 15 minutes it was Chiefs turn to have chances on goal, but Baloyi volleyed wide and then Abia Nale lifted his shot over the bar from 14-yards out.
The chance to nick a late point was wasted by Stars – in the 85th minute Nathan Paulse was played in via a delightful chip from Thuso Phala, but he took too long to get the shot away and Bartman intervened.
In injury time Jimmy Tau ensured there was no come-back for Stars as he headed Henrico Botes’ header off the line.
Chiefs: (4-4-2) Bartman; Tau, Isaacs, Sweswe, Jambo; Yende (Dladla 68’), Nengomasha, Baloyi, Tshabalala (Letsholonyane 83’); Parker, Majoro (Nale 60’)
Stars: (4-5-1) Mpontshane; Mere, Sambu, Femenya, Ngwepe; Phala, Malongoane, Mkhabela, Msomi (Paulse 82’), Thebakang (Ng’ambi 46’); Botes-Backpagepix