THOMAS Sweswe with his first ever goal in the PSL, and Arthur Bartman with a man-of-the-match performance, led Kaizer Chiefs to a slender 1-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns in an Absa Premiership match at Loftus stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It was always going to be a fiery match and the Amakhosi made it clear early on that they would not be dictated too when Bernard Parker hacked down Teko Modise from behind in only the fourth minute of the match, and was hence shown a yellow card.
Following that sloppy tackle, however, the game soon fell into a nice rhythm which saw both sides playing a high paced game of football, and both looking threatening in attack.
Consequently, the fans packed inside the Loftus Stadium only had to wait 12 minutes before they saw the game’s opening goal and it went the way of the Phefeni Glamour Boys.
Siphiwe Tshabalala was the creator of the goal as he whipped in a perfectly placed right-side free-kick which saw Thomas Sweswe rising highest to powerful head home from ten-yards out, 1-0.
Following the goal the game opened up quite a bit and only the brilliance of Arthur Bartman between the Chiefs’ sticks kept the Amakhosi in the lead going into the half time break.
In the 18th minute Nyasha Mushekwi went on a mesmerising individual run when he drove through the middle of the Chiefs defence, but Bartman was quickly off his line and spread himself well to make a fantastic one-on-one stop.
Nine minutes later and Themba Zwane attacked down the right flank for ‘Downs before pulling the ball back for an unmarked Elias Pelembe on the edge of the 18-yard box, but his shot was also superbly saved by Bartman diving low to his right.
Pelembe was in the thick of the action again a minute later when he supplied a good pass to find Richard Henyekane with his back facing goal six-yards out.
The Brazilian striker turned well before seeing his close range effort also stopped by Bartman, producing a good reflex save with his feet to deny the attacker.
In the 32nd minute, however, there was nothing Bartman could do as Modise let rip with a stinging 25-yard grass-cutter, but luckily for the Chiefs goalie he saw Modise’s shot strike the left-hand upright and bounce away from danger.
Still, despite being on the back foot for the majority of the half, the Amakhosi did have the last say of the half as Abia Nale forced Wayne Sandilands into a magnificent save. Nale tried a well placed curler from just inside the area which was palmed around the post by Sandilands fingertips as he dove to his left.
The second half continued to see the Brazilians lay assault on the Chiefs goal, but again Bartman was at hand to frustrate the Sundowns attack.
In the 59th minute, the Amakhosi goalie produced another great double save, first to deny Siyanda Xulu from close range after a goalmouth scramble and then punching the ball away as it pin-balled around six-yard box.
The Brazilians continued to press forward in search of the equaliser which saw them in real danger of being hit on the counter-attack and that is exactly what happened in the 70th minute.
Bernard Parker broke down the right flank and supplied a cross into the box which should have seen Tshabalala put the result beyond doubt after some confusion in defence allowed the Bafana Bafana winger to get on the end of the Parker cross, but he fired over from ten yards with the goal at his mercy.
Six minutes later and Chiefs, against the run of play, had another golden opportunity to score when Lehlohonolo Majoro got on the end of a Tshabalala cross at the front post, but his header went inches wide from six-yards out.
The final ten minutes was a frantic, yet impressively stubborn, display of defence by Chiefs as they were able to keep Sundowns out and pick up a crucial three points in the league.
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 0
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Sweswe 12’)
Sundowns: Sandilands, Xulu, Ngubane, Daniels, Masenamela (Mokoena 83’), Kekana (Moriri 75’), Henyekane (Mphela 53’), Zwane, Pelembe, Modise, Mushekwi
Chiefs: Bartman, Tau, Zvasiya, Swewe, Jambo, Nale (Letsholonyane 46’), Nengomasha, Baloyi, Tshabalala, Parker (Lebese 74’), Majoro (Yende 89’)
In the other two league matches played this afternoon Ajax Cape Town registered a 2-0 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic in cape Town with the KwaZulu-Natal derby between AmaZulu and Maritzburg United ending in a goalless draw.
The rest of the league results are: Orlando Pirates 3 v SuperSport United 0, Moroka Swallows 4 v Black Leopards 1, Jomo Cosmos 2 v Platinum Stars 1, Free State Stars 2 v Santos 0 and BidVest Wits 2 v Golden Arrows 2.-Backpagepix