Chiefs rout AmaZulun to end the year on a high

Siyabonga Nkosi came off the bench to score a brace as Kaizer Chiefs defeated AmaZulu 4-1 in their Absa Premiership encounter at the Moses Mabhida stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Knowledge Musona and Bernard Parker scored the other goals, while Khulegani Madondo scored a late consolation goal for the home side.

Chiefs came close to taking the lead as early as the fifth minute when Kingston Nkhatha released Musona through the middle but his shot was turned around the post by Tapuwa Kapini.

Seven minutes later Siphiwe Tshabalala played a long diagonal ball to find Parker on the left, but the forward sent his low strike wide of goal from the edge of the box.

In the 22nd minute Tshabalala’s corner found Musona unmarked at the near post, only for the Zimbabwean to direct his glancing header over the crossbar.

The hosts had their first real chance of the match four minutes later when Njabulo Manqana collected a loose ball outside the penalty area, but he fired his shot wide of the target.

Tshabalala continued to pull the strings in the midfield and in the 29th minute he found Parker, who then dribbled his way into the Usuthu box striking the upright with a powerful strike.

In the 41st midfield Tshabalala picked the ball up in the middle and surged forward before unleashing a shot from long range, but his effort flew inches over the crossbar as the score remained at 0-0 at halftime.

Amakhosi made a substitution at halftime with Nkosi replacing Willard Katsande, who was already on a yellow card and it was the substitute who forced Kapini into making a save with a solid strike from the left side of the box.

From the resulting corner, Nkhatha’s looping header was cleared off the line by Khulegani Madondo, while Parker’s follow-up effort came back off the crossbar.

The hosts also threatened from a corner in the 52nd minute but Ayanda Dlamini’s shot was blocked by Parker, while Msekeli Mvalo’s attempt was also kept out by a defender.

The visitors eventually broke the deadlock three minutes later when Nkosi collected a pass from Tshabalala outside the box before drilling a left-footed strike past a diving Kapini.

Stuart Baxter’s men doubled their lead in the 61st minute from a blistering counter-attack which saw Tshabalala drawing a good save from Kapini before Musona buried the rebound from the right side the box.

Usuthu had an opportunity to pull one goal back in the 67th minute when Nkosinathi Mthiyane made a good run to connect with a cross from Ayanda Dlamini, but the winger sent his diving header over the crossbar.

However, it was Chiefs who extended their lead in the 80th minute when Nkhatha broke through on the right and forced a save out of Kapini; the ball fell for Parker and he calmly chipped it into the back of the net

Substitute Sithembiso Ngcobo came close to getting one over his parent team in the 84th minute when he connected with an inswing cross from Ayanda Dlamini, but his powerful header struck the upright.

Two minutes later Nkosi grabbed his brace when he collected a pass from Musona on the run before stabbing the ball past Kapini from close range after Msekeli Mvalo had given the ball away cheaply.

Usuthu eventually got the ball into the back of the net in the fourth minute of added time when Madondo’s shot beat Itumeleng Khune after picking up a deflection from Mthiyane, but it was all too little too late.

AmaZulu (0) 1 (Madondo 90+4’)

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 4 (Nkosi 55’ 86’, Musona 61’, Parker 80’)

AmaZulu: Kapini, Macala, Hlanti, Mvalo, Nyadombo, Madondo, Dlamini G, Manqana (Ngcobo 66’), Mthiyane, Ndulula, Dlamini A

Kaizer Chiefs: Khune, Gaxa, Mashamaite, Mathoho, Masilela, Katsande (Nkosi 46’), Dladla (Bukenya 82’), Tshabalala, Musona (Rusike 88’), Parker, Nkhatha