Kaizer Chiefs won back-to-back PSL matches as they took the point in a narrow 1-0 victory against Maritzburg United on Saturday.
Four key factors to the win were:
- Chiefs Poor In First Half
- Maritzburg Wasteful
- Chiefs Changes Work
- Chiefs Defend well
Chiefs Poor In First Half
The first half performance was probably the worst since Ernst Middendorp took over. The coach used a flat 4-4-2 formation as Philani Zulu partnered George Maluleka in midfield and Khama Billiat returned up front to partner Leonardo Castro. Dumisani Zuma and Bernard Parker were on the flanks, whilst Kgotso Moleko started in the middle of a back four for the first time. Such was the poor first half that Middendorp felt compelled to bring Katsande on for Zulu after just 26 minutes.
With Chiefs there for the taking, Maritzburg failed to make good situations and a plethora of corners count in their favour in the first half. The home side had eight shots inside the box and Mohau Mokate missed a one-on-one opportunity. This has been their issue all season, scoring just 13 goals, the least in the league, and having a conversion rate of just 6%.
Chiefs Changes Work
In addition to the 26th-minute change to take Zulu off for Katsande, Chiefs took off a clearly unfit Billiat for debutant Nkosingiphile Ngcobo. He lined up on the right, with Parker moving into a central role, but looking to move towards the right to overload the away side. Zuma stayed very wide on the left to try to pull Eric Tinkler’s back three apart, and the goal eventually came that way. Zuma ran inside in the space behind the right wingback and finished from Castro’s assist. Ngcobo did well on debut, setting up one chance, making two tackles and beating one opponent with a dribble.
Chiefs Defend Well
As Maritzburg chased the game, they moved Fortune Makaringe into a very advanced role to use his dribbling and pace. They also introduced target man Judas Moseamedi and creative loanee, Allan Kateregga. Chiefs’ centre backs, Moleko and Daniel Cardoso made 23 clearances between them as Tinkler’s side looked to use Moseamedi’s height. The duo had some trouble in the air at times, winning only eight of their 15 combined aerial duels, but they defended the second ball well. The away side had nine corners in the game, but the duo marshalled their teammates from set-plays.
Did Chiefs deserve to win this game? Can the side continue their winning run and get themselves into the title race? Let us know by commenting below!