Kaizer Chiefs’ resurgence continued on Tuesday as they picked up a third DStv Premiership win in a row, and their most convincing yet, taking down a pitiful Tshakhuma FC 3-0 at the FNB Stadium.
Youngsters Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Happy Mashiane were again on the scoresheet, as they were against Cape Town City on the weekend, with Mashiane also coming off the bench to set up Lebogang Manyama with Amakhosi’s second goal. It was Chiefs’ first top flight victory of the season and moved them to within a point of Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates in the table.
Hunt picked Leonard Castro and Samir Nurkovic together in his starting line up for the first time this season, and the former had the first chance of the game, his header looping onto the roof of the net.
It was fine work from Nurkovic that helped put Amakhosi in the lead in the 19th minute, the Serbian again showing his importance to the team as he controlled a throw in, held off his man and lifted the ball into the advancing Ngcobo’s path.
There was still plenty for the young Chiefs midfielder to do, however, and he did it brilliantly, flicking the ball over his marker and lashing a volley past Washington Arubi.
TTM offered little going forward, though they did briefly threaten when Thabo Rakhale got the better of Anthony Agay, but Daniel Cardoso was on hand to clear the former Pirates man’s cross.
There was also a scare for Amakhosi goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, as he dithered on a back pass from Darrel Macheke, and Lerato Lamola closed the Nigerian down, his attempted clearance cannoning off the TTM striker and out for a throw in.
Still, TTM coach Joel Masutha did make a change before the break, taking off a midfielder in Meshack Maphangule and bringing on Aluwani Nedzamba to bolster his attack.
Nedzamba and TTM did pose more of a threat to Chiefs after the break, with Agay and Cardoso both making desperate last-ditch tackles to keep Chiefs in the lead.
Amakhosi also seemed to be dealt a major blow when Ngcobo was forced off with a thigh injury, Happy Mashiane taking his place. Mashiane, however, was a key reason Chiefs were able to effectively kill off the game, incredibly combining with another substitute, Manyama, who was also only on the pitch because of an injury.
Hunt had thrown on youngster Lebohang Lesako to replace Castro, but he went down almost immediately with an injury, so Hunt called on Manyama instead. And the Amakhosi striker netted with his first touch, arriving at the back post to fire home sweetly after an equally sublime Mashiane cross.
And TTM’s misery was complete when Alfred Ndengane, on his birthday, was given a red card after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Nurkovic.
There was still time for Manyama to return the compliment to Mashiane, meanwhile, as his pass was rifled into the top corner by the 23 year-old.
The only stain on Chiefs’ evening came as Bernard Parker was given his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card in stoppage for a late tackle on Brandon Theron.