Kaizer Chiefs are proving that they may yet be credible competitors in the DStv Premiership this season. This was apparent in their display as they beat Soweto neighbours Swallows FC 3-1 at Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Chiefs had gone into the game with a weakened team with some of their regulars either suspended, injured or out due to Covid related issues.
This was revealed by coach Stuart Baxter before the game that he would have to restructure and reorganise his team.
Amakhosi started the game without Njabulo Blom and Cole Alexander who were suspended. Njabulo Ngcobo was also not in the game but his absence was not explained. Thathutshedzo Nange was also a notable absentee and he carried some injury which forced him off during the 1-1 draw against AmaZulu last Wednesday.
Baxter had said he had told the players who were given a chance to prove to him that he was getting it wrong by not starting them – and they might have.
Akumu Agay – who is somehow not a fan favourite – acquitted himself well and made some important interceptions.
The win catapulted Amakhosi to second spot with eight points between them and Mamelodi Sundowns who returned to winning ways on Saturday. It will be interesting to see if Chiefs can really mount a challenge for the title and upset Sundowns who have looked assured of their fifth consecutive title since the start of the season.
In the first minutes the game was evenly balanced with neither side taking charge and the home side looked good. Swallows had some moments where they looked dangerous and like they could do some harm.
They kept Chiefs’ talisman Keagan Dolly quiet while he tried to build some connection with Khama Billiat. But they slipped up towards the end of the half and were severely punished.
Dolly finally found a way through with less than five minutes to the end, and beat Jody February from close range.
A minute later, Dolly set up Billiat who put his shot at the top corner for the second goal. And eight minutes from the restart, Billat made it 3-0 and clear that Swallows were in for a heavy beating yet.
Lebogang Mokoena tried to get Swallows back into the game in the 64th minute, giving the home side some hope that they could still get something out of the game.
Mokoena gave an inspired display as he tried to rally his troops for a come-back but it was too little too late.
Swallows finished the better of the two sides as they pushed Chiefs back looking to eke something out and avoid being pushed further into the relegation zone. Swallows are now bottom of the standings with just eight points from 12 games.