• Five things learned from Chiefs’ thumping of CT City

    Kaizer Chiefs thump CT City

    Khama Billiat starred, while Lebogang Manyama made his Kaizer Chiefs debut in the 4-1 thrashing of Cape Town City in their Absa Premiership clash.

    1) Lebogang Manyama debut:

    All eyes were on the former City skipper and PSL Footballer of the Year, who made his first start for Chiefs against his former side months after completing a move abroad to Turkish outfit Konyaspor.

    The Bafana Bafana international lacked match due to his lack of action in Europe, however, he didn’t lose his touch. Manyama was presented with the first real chance of the game in the third minute, but he opted to sidefoot from inside the area when he should have blasted Leonardo Castro’s cutback.

    For what he lacked in match fitness, he more than made up for in confidence, showing off a few silky touches much to the pleasure of the Chiefs fans.

    Manyama enjoyed a solid debut and was replaced with 15 minutes left on the clock by Philani Zulu, who netted his first Chiefs goal.

    2) Absence of key City men:

    The midfield is arguably where Kaizer Chiefs won and Cape Town City lost the game. The absence of two players for City changed the entire complexion of the game.

    It proved a tough midfield battle for Benni McCarthy’s men, who were without regular industrious midfielders in Thabo Nodada and Roland Putsche.

    From the offset, the trio of Willard Katsande, Siphelele Ntshangase and Manyama were all over their counterparts: Mpho Matsi, Ayanda Patosi and Teko Modise. The home side lacked mobility in the midfield and came up against a more superior side in quality and will.

    Benni was forced to reshuffle things in the second half as he brought on Putsche and winger Gift Links, however, it proved too little too late as things went from bad-to-worse after the Citizens being reduced to 10-men after defender Taariq Fielies’ dismissal.

    3) There is no stopping Billiat:

    Billiat was integral to Chiefs’ cause at Cape Town Stadium as he netted a brace to continue his fine run of form for the club. The marquee signing showed no glimpses of stopping his influence on the game despite the removal of his partner-in-crime Castro, who sustained a twisted ankle.

    The inclusion of Manyama elevates Chiefs’ game into another dimension, however, it is the Zimbabwean international who is responsible for bringing the goals and thus far, he has succeeded – being directly involved in seven goals in nine matches played across all competitions.

    If Chiefs are to reach the heights they expect this season, former Mamelodi Sundowns star Billiat will be key.

    4) Lead, concede and repeat:

    Giovanni Solinas opted to field defenders Daniel Cardoso and Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya after the duo were dropped in the MTN8 semi-final second-leg loss against SuperSport United.

    The defensive duo justified their inclusion by working their socks off for the entire clash as they nullified the attacking threats of Craig Martin, Matthew Rusike and Siphelele Mthembu.

    Following a bright start by the visitors, one lapse of concentration by the defence changed the tide of the game in the favour of the home side for a couple of minutes in the first and second-half.

    Ayanda Patosi’s inswinging corner was met by Rusike’s bullet header. Chiefs’ defence were again guilty of being caught napping, like they did in their league clashes against Baroka and Bloemfontein Celtic. If Chiefs are to vie for honours this season, Solinas will need to sort out his backfour.

    5) No fault for trying:

    City were in a precautious position heading into the clash, with a number of players being a yellow card or two away from suspension. In addition, they face Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United (MTN8 final) in their following clashes.

    Credit must be given to Chiefs to come out the starting blocks with more intensity in their bid to end their winless streak in the league, however on that same note, credit must be given to Benni’s side for their never-say-die attitude.

    When they were a goal down, they showed a good fight to equalise matters soon after. Even after being reduced to 10 men, City never went on the defensive as McCarthy opted  for an all-out attack by bringing on Mthembu in a bid to minimise the damage.

    Photo: Kaizer Chiefs website

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