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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

Johnson gets first win as Chiefs fight past Spurs

In a DStv Premiership match at an empty FNB Stadium, Chiefs displayed a marked improvement.

Cavin Johnson’s first win as Kaizer Chiefs coach is a positive step, but he will be well aware that there’s work to be done in order to bring greater fluidity to the team’s performances. 

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In a DStv Premiership match at an empty FNB Stadium, because of a fan lockout, Chiefs displayed a marked improvement, securing a 3-2 victory over Cape Town Spurs.

While glimpses of the team’s evolving direction were visible, there was also a noticeable lack of cohesion as Johnson experimented with new combinations. 

He opted to start with two young midfielders, Mduduzi Shabalala and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, and they initially showed promise as a dynamic pair. 

However, they eventually ran out of steam, and their performance waned towards the end, prompting Johnson to make substitutions.

Chiefs showed promise in the early minutes, particularly with Ranga Chivaviro adding a different attacking dimension to the team. 

The robust striker acted as a focal point for Chiefs’ in attack, displaying unselfish play by setting up his teammates when they were in better positions. 

Their efforts were eventually rewarded in the 15th minute when Edson Castillo capitalised on another attack. Spurs’ defenders struggled to regroup and cope with the threat.

Chiefs led 2-0, but almost squandered it

Just 10 minutes later, Chiefs extended their lead to 2-0, with Chivaviro slotting the ball home from close range. 

After conceding the second goal, the Urban Warriors sprung into action and began mounting a comeback. 

Their efforts paid off as they managed to halve the deficit through Luvuyo Phewa, who expertly manoeuvred between two Chiefs defenders and unleashed a shot past the charging Itumeleng Khune. 

The second half unfolded at a more relaxed pace, with Chiefs taking control of possession, especially after making substitutions. 

Mduduzi Mdantsane stepped in for Shabalala, and Pule Mmodi replaced Ngcobo. Chiefs launched more attacks as a result. 

Spurs came close to scoring in the 74th minute when second-half substitute Surprise Ralani struck the post with Khune out of reach. 

Christian Saile, a substitute, secured Chiefs’ insurance goal with just over seven minutes remaining. Despite Luke Baartman’s late goal, Chiefs claimed all the points.

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The win sets Chiefs up for a good showing against Orlando Pirates in the Soweto derby on Saturday.

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