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Kaizer Chiefs

Nurkovic & Castro Run Riot Without Billiat In Eight-Goal Thriller

Absa Premiership

Result: Kaizer Chiefs 5-3 Bloemfontein Celtic

Date: 07 December 2019

Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium

Samir Nurkovic and Leonardo Castro ran riot for Kaizer Chiefs, who came from behind on three occasions to punish Bloemfontein Celtic 5-3 on Saturday evening.

Amakhosi head coach Ernst Middendorp made two changes from from their thumping victory over Stellenbosch FC, as Erick Mathoho returned from suspension at the expense of Siyabonga Ngezana, while Leonardo Castro took the place of the rested Khama Billiat.

Chiefs started on the back-foot after going behind in the 13th minute after lack of communication at the back between Bernard Parker and shot-stopper Daniel Akpeyi led to Ndumiso Mabena firing home at the near post.

However, the Glamour Boys responded swiftly in the 21st minute courtesy of individual brilliance from Nurkovic, who smashed home low drive past Mpoto at the near post.

Tchilimbou restored the lead for Lehlohonolo Seema's troops three minutes later with a cracking strike past Akpeyi after going clear on goal from Mabena's through ball.

The game swung once again as Nurkovic pulled Chiefs level in the 31st minute with a diving header inside the box from Daniel Cardoso's cross to complete his brace.

However, Phunya Sele Sele restored their lead again with ten minutes remaining of the first stanza after another counter-attack saw Siphelele Luthuli go one-on-one with Akpeyi before calmly slotting into the bottom corner.

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Middendorp made a tactical adjustment after from the break, as he brought on Dumisani Zuma in place of Parker, but Chiefs levelled matters three minutes into the second stanza as Castro powered home a header from Lebogang Manyama's corner.

Amakhosi thought they had turned it around five minutes later after Nurkovic glanced home a header past Mpoto, but the goal was ruled out for a foul by the Serbian striker.

However, Nurkovic could not be denied his hat-trick in the 61st minute by smashing home a first-time volley at the far post from Castro's cross on the left channel.

Amakhosi bagged the fifth goal ten minutes later as Castro grabbed his brace with a free header into the gaping net after Mpoto was unable to collect Manyama's corner.

The hosts had a wonderful chance to get their sixth goal after Manyama went clear on goal four minutes before the full-time but his low strike was saved by Mpoto as the encounter finished 5-3 in Durban.

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Here's how they started:

Chiefs: 43. Akpeyi, 39. Frosler, 20. Sasman, 4. Cardoso, 3. Mathoho, 31. Katsande, 5. Baccus, 25. Parker, 8. Castro, 9. Nurkovic, 11. Manyama.

Subs: 44. Bvuma, 12. Maluleka, 2. Mphahlele, 7. Kambole, 30. Ngezana, 36. Ntiya-Ntiya, 28. Zuma.

Celtic: 32. Mpoto, 26. Ngobeni, 15. Pfumbidzai, 3. Mahashe, 11. Potsane, 18. Mashikinya, 12. Luthuli, 35. Baloyi, 27. Tchilimbou, 10. Mabena, 8. Phalane.

Subs: 31. Chaine, 9. Sera, 21. Letsoalo, 2. Tani, 20. De Jongh, 29. Mangweni, 14Njoti.

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