Kaizer Chiefs ensured they gave their fans an early Christmas gift after beating a stubborn Maritzburg United 2-0 in their final game of the year in the DStv Premiership at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday.
But, it was not easy win for Amakhosi, who had to work extra-hard to ensure they get the victory, with the Team of Choice having placed them under pressure, particularly in the second half.
Thanks to goals by Khama Billiat and substitute Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, the Glamour Boys have collected 28 points in their last 16 games in the league going into the break and sit in third place. Maritzburg, meanwhile, will have to come back the following year hoping for a change of fortunes in results. United are in 13th place on the log with only 15 points collected from 18 games.
It wasn’t a promising start to the game, as both sides produced limited clear-cut goal scoring chances, especially for the home side. However, it was only after the half hour mark where Chiefs would get a real chance at goals after Njabulo Blom’s wonderful work from the right side of attack spotted Billiat in the United box, and the Zimbabwean made no mistake as he slotted the ball into the net to make it 1-0.
Maritzburg were losing concentration and Chiefs almost got another goal after Keagan Dolly spotted Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya making a run towards the box, but the left-back ballooned his attempt over the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat as Amakhosi went into half-time as the better side.
From the break, Maritzburg looked to be rejuvenated as they placed Chiefs under pressure with the KwaZulu-Natal outfit winning a lot of corners. Maritzburg were unlucky not to see one of the corner kicks taken by Keagan Ritchie’s left-foot not go in, as it hit the upright before being cleared out of danger.
With 10 minutes left to play, Chiefs substitute Nqcobo would go on to seal the victory for the Naturena based outfit, with a well taken curler to beat Maritzburg keeper Marcel Engelhardt to make it 2-0 for Amakhosi and making it a double against the KwaZulu-Natal based outfit having beaten them 1-0 in the first round.