Chiefs down Highlands in Tembisa five-goal thriller

Kaizer Chiefs beat Highlands Park 3-2 in a thrilling Absa Premiership encounter at Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa on Sunday afternoon.

Eric Mathoho scored the match winner with seven minutes of regulation time remaining, in a game where the lead changed hands on three occasions.

Rodney Ramagalela and Peter Shalulile found the back of the net for the Lions of the North, while Lebogang Manyama bagged a brace for the Amakhosi.

Manyama got Chiefs up and running for the season in the fifth minute of the clash, nodding home a pin-point cross by Kearyn Baccus to send the Amakhosi-dominated crowd into absolute delirium.

Their joy, though, was short-lived as Rodney Ramagalela deservedly levelled matters for the hosts in the 22nd minute. Bruce Bvuma failed to deal with a dangerous cross into the area which Shalulile duly directed across the face of goal to his strike partner; who made no mistake on debut.

Fellow debutant, Samir Nurkovic was proving a real handful at the opposite end of the park, and he almost fired the visitors back in front. The forward's dipping header flew inches wide of goal as the two teams ultimately headed for the tunnel at the break with the score deadlocked at 1-1.

Highlands hit the lead lead two minutes following the interval as Shalulile latched onto Lindokuhle Mbatha's initial shot before turning on a dime and firing home from close range.

Chiefs hit straight back and equalised through Manyama three minutes later. Nurkovic picked out the former Cape Town City forward who hammered home the cushion header to level matters once more.

Daniel Cardoso came to Chiefs and Bvuma's rescue in the 69th minute after the goalkeeper misjudged a hopeful ball forward. The Glamour Boys defender showing his class to pick up the pieces and clear from danger.

Both teams pushed forward in search of the a late winner and Mathoho would mark himself a hero with 83 minutes on the clock, albeit in rather fortune circumstances.

The towering defender pounced on the loose ball outside the area and without a moments hesitation fired at goal on which the ball took a massive deflection, wrong-footing the Highlands shot-stopper, on its way to bulging the back of the net.

Highlands Park (1) 2 (Ramagalela 22' Shalulile 47')

Kaizer Chiefs (1) 3 (Manyama 5' 50' Mathoho 83')

Highlands Park: Heugh; Mokoena, Ramoraka, Fransman, Mzava, Makhaula (Nyembe 77'), Mahlangu, Mbatha, Jooste (Mbunjana 65'), Shalulile, Ramagalela (Mbhele 77').

Kaizer Chiefs: Bvuma; Gordinho, Mathoho, Cardoso, Frosler (Mphahlele 82'), Katsande (Maluleka 64'), Manyama, Baccus (Zuma 46'), Parker, Nurkovic, Kambole.