KAIZER CHIEFS CROWNED MTN 8 CHAMPIONS
By Lucky Khanyile
Kaizer Chiefs defeated arch rivals Orlando Pirates to be crowned MTN 8 champions at the Moses Mabhida Stadium this weekend.
A 28th minute header by Tefu Mashamaite was enough to separate the Soweto giants in a vibrant Mabhida. The game lived up to expectations, with both teams showing hunger for victory.
Mandla Masango took the first shot in anger in the 10th minute but the home town boy, Senzo Meyiwa, produced a fine save to deny Chiefs an opener. The Glamour Boys created more chances but they couldn’t convert.
Pirates almost grabbed the lead in the 21st minute but another home town boy, goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo, denied Oupa Manyisa. A few minutes later a lack of concentration by the Pirates defence resulted in an unmarked Mashamaite finding the back of the net.
The game went to half-time with the Chiefs leading. Pirates came back strong in the second stanza but Khuzwayo was up to the task. The Chiefs’ shot-stopper made a telling save to deny Kermit Erasmus an equalizer in the 52nd.
Pirates then introduced former Chiefs marks man, Lehlohonolo Majoro, who proved that he should have started the game. Khuzwayo proved his eagerness for regular game time, parrying a Majoro effort for a corner.
The second half substitute, Bernard Parker, almost doubled Chiefs’ lead in the 85th minute but it wasn’t to be. Last season’s PSL top goal-scorer lost his marker before unleashing a shot but Meyiwa denied him his first of the current campaign.
Khuzwayo once again proved to his coach, Stuart Baxter that he is ready to fight for the number spot for Amakhosi in the goals. He was playing in the absence of the injured Khune. Erasmus failed again to equalize as his effort was fielded by the Chiefs’ wonder kid.
Khuzwayo’s performance saw him named the man of the match, helping his side to a record MTN 8 title.