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HomeDStv PremiershipSundowns Dent Chiefs CAFCL Hopes At The Calabash

Sundowns Dent Chiefs CAFCL Hopes At The Calabash

DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns dented Kaizer Chiefs’ slim CAF Champions League qualification hopes with a 1-1 draw at FNB Stadium on Sunday.

In the build-up to the fixture, there was the much-talked-about Guard of Honour and whether the Soweto giants would offer the 12-time league champions the gesture at the Calabash.

Despite the rivalry between the two of the most successful clubs in South African football, Amakhosi duly set up for the occasion before Sundowns entered the pitch for the start of what was a real spectacle for those who braved the six degrees icy weather in Johannesburg.

Chiefs opted for a very attacking line-up with Lazarous Kambole earning a rare start in a 4-2-3-1 formation alongside the famous ‘CBD’ of Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly and they showed real impetus to take the game to Sundowns.

With a win needed to keep their slim CAF Champions League hopes alive, interim head coach Arthur Zwane looked to set his team up to attack the makeshift defence of Sundowns, with Divine Lunga filling in at centre-back in the absence of Rushine de Reuck and Brian Onyango.

And it was their most reliable attacker Khama Billiat who was guilty of missing a golden chance early on when Castro put the ball across the six-yard area, only for Billiat’s effort to go wide of Rieyaad Pieterse post.

Sundowns then took control of possession and had the bulk of the chances with Chiefs looking to break on the counter, which proved to provide those in attendance some entertaining football at the Calabash for the opening half.

However, it was in the second half where it truly came alive with Aubrey Modiba’s opener four minutes after the break that spurned some end to end action and some real aggression from both sides.

Zwane brought on Samir Nurkovic for Castro and it made an immediate impact when Phathutshedzo Nange volleyed the home side back into level terms in the 76th minute which brought the Amakhosi faithful to life.

It was the tonic that motivated Chiefs to dig deeper and they had a golden chance to win the game when they received a penalty with five minutes to go, but Keagan Dolly’s penalty and the rebound was saved by Riyaad Pieterse.

Peter Shalulile, who’s aiming to break the long-standing 25-goal record of former Chiefs striker Collins Mbesuma went close late on, while Nurkovic was also guilty of spurning a late chance.

It wasn’t quite the ‘take over FNB’ occasion Sundowns were punting in mid-week but they surely provided local supporters with entertainment with Chiefs on the afternoon but it dented Zwane and his troops hopes of securing the league runners-up spot.

Here is how they lined up:

Kaizer Chiefs: Bvuma, Ngezana, Mphahlele, Blom, Frosler, Alexander, Nange, Kambole, Castro, Dolly, Billiat.

Subs: Akpeyi, Parker, Nurkovic, Agay, Mashiane, Mabiliso, Sekgota, Radebe.

Mamelodi Sundowns: Pieterse, Lunga, Modiba, Lebusa, Mudau, Jali, Mkhulise, Maboe, Sirino, Zwane, Shalulile.

Subs: Mweene, Morena, Motupa, Lakay, Mokoena, Kapinga, Ralani, Maema, Kutumela.


Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.