Parker saves Chiefs against Stars

Kaizer Chiefs’ frustrating Absa Premiership campaign continued on Saturday evening when they were held 1-1 at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium by Free State Stars.

The Amakhosi at least managed to break a three-game goalless streak thanks to Bernard Parker’s equaliser midway through the second half, but they have now drawn four games in a row and seemingly cannot build any kind of momentum in the league.

Stars created the early scoring chances, with Sinethemba Jantjie shooting wide of the target from a third minute free kick, while four minutes later Thabo Maphakisa fired a dangerous ball across the face of goal which only needed the slightest touch to be turned home.

Chiefs gradually found their footing in the match and on 21 minutes they made their first clear opportunity, with the good movement of Gustavo Paez allowing him to tee up George Maluleka, but the midfield pulled his effort wide of Badra Ali Sangare’s right-hand post.

On 37 minutes they had another chance through Siphiwe Tshabalala, who cut inside from the right and beat the goalkeeper with a low shot, but the retreating Sifiso Mbhele was able to clear the goal-bound effort with a clever back-heel.

However, the defender soon succumbed to a hamstring injury and was replaced by Rooi Mahamutsa with just a few minutes to the half-time break.

The first chance of the second half went the way of Ea Lla Koto, with Jantjie opening up space for a shot from the edge of the penalty area on 53 minutes, but goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune pulled off a fine save.

Yet there was nothing the Chiefs ‘keeper could do to prevent Stars taking the lead in the 64th minute: midfielder Nhlanhla Vilakazi let fly from long range and his effort deflected off the head of Daniel Cardoso, totally wrong-footing Khune before finding the back of the net.

Stars were only ahead for three minutes, as the Amakhosi hit back through a well-worked passing move which saw Willard Katsande set up Bernard Parker, who beat Sangare with a right-footed shot.

On 78 minutes Chiefs needed Khune to make another important save, as he palmed away a sliced effort from Nyiko Mobbie which looked destined for the back of the net.

The Soweto giants ended the stronger of the two teams as they pushed hard for a winning goal, but they found Stars’ defence in an uncompromising mood. The result sees Chiefs move up one spot to sixth place, while Ea Lla Koto also improve one position to go ninth.

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Parker 67’)
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Vilakazi/Cardoso [og] 64’)

Chiefs: Khune, Cardoso, Hadebe, Ngezana, Zulu (Jayiya 70’), Katsande, Maluleka, Molangoane, Parker, Tshabalala, Paez (Zuma 65’)

Stars: Sangare, Mobbie, Keita, Mbhele (Mahamutsa 41’), Phungwayo, Masehe, Vilakazi, Maphakisa (Potsane 81’), Dlamini, Jantjie, Abrahms (Mthembu 56’).