Kaizer Chiefs come from behind to win eight-goal thriller
DURBAN – Kaizer Chiefs sent a statement of intent to their adversaries in the title race on Saturday evening as they came from behind to dispatch Bloemfontein Celtic 5-3 in an eight goal thriller at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
It was goal galore in Durban as the spectacle produced eight goals in total. The atmosphere at Mabhida was electric and exuberant, with the majority in the stands Chiefs faithful, as expected.
Chiefs had to come back on three occasions in 90 minutes. They showed character and they did not show any sign of succumbing to the pressure. Everytime they trailed, they found a way to come back.
It might be still too early, but Ernst Middendorp's men are showing their title credentials. Amakhosi mean business this season, and what they are basically saying to their rivals is, "catch us if you can."
It was not the first time they had to come back from behind to win this season. They also did so against Highlands Park and Cape Town City. The Glamour Boys are now 10-points ahead of Supersport United who are second on the log. Chiefs have now notched up nine wins on the trot in the league. Right now, they are unstoppable. Celtic started on the front foot.
Sifiso Ngobeni delivered an exquisite square ball in to the box from the left and side, the ball fell in to the path of Ndumiso Mabena who showed great composure to beat Daniel Akpeyi. The former Orlando Pirates talisman finished with aplomb. Amakhosi were caught square at the heart of defence as the ball was played in to the left channel of Chiefs.
The goal was scored during the critical phases of the game. It was scored in the 12th minutes.
Harris Tchilimbou almost made it two few minutes later but Akpeyi was at his best to keep Celtic at bay this time around. Celtic were utilising a lot of space from Amakhosi's full-back to penetrate their adversaries.
It didn't take long for Amakhosi to restore parity. Samir Nurkovic netted a scorcher from his left foot. It was 21 minutes in to the game when Nurkovic unleashed a bullet to beat Mondli Mpoto. The game was played at the frenetic pace.
Three minutes later, Celtic were back in to the lead once again. Given Mashikinya spotted a well time run by Tchilimbou.
Tchilimbou was calm, cool and cooled as he rattled the back of the net. It was raining goals at Moses Mabhida. Nurkovic levelled the matters for Amakhosi 32 minutes in to the game. The Serbian scored another beauty but with his head this time around.
Four minutes later, Siphelele Luthuli, netted the third for Celtic. He broke through the line and finished with ease. Lack of pace in Chiefs' defence was exposed this evening.
It didn't take Chiefs too longer to equaliser. Leonardo Castro rose the highest in the box and headed his side back in to the game. The goal came two minutes after the interval. Akpeyi wasn't to beaten for the fourth time. He denied Luthuli with a spectacular save.
Nurkovic completed his hat-trick on the hour-mark. Castro played a telling ball in to the path of Nurkovic who side footed the ball in to the back of the net.
Prior to the goal, Ernst Middendorp was fuming after Dumisani Zuma failed to release the ball early. Castro and Nurkovic were in good spaces but Zuma delayed the ball and was fouled. Chiefs took the quick free kick and it lead in to a goal.
Castro completed his brace profiting from Lebogang Manyama's quality delivery from the right and side. It was a great night for Amakhosi in Durban at the end of the day.