Lebese’s Late Strike Steals Three Points for Chiefs

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

Kaizer Chiefs battled to a 1-0 win over Chippa United in a PSL clash at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

A late strike from substitute George Lebese handed Steve Komphela’s men the deserved three points as they avenged the 3-1 defeat they suffered in the first round.

The Chilli Boys came into the tie hoping to claim a second win over Amakhosi this season, but the loss sees them sitting at number 12 on the log standings with 24 points from as many matches.

The opening five minutes saw Steve Komphela’s men starting the contest on a high as they kept the visitors under pressure.

It was of course Siphiwe Tshabalala who showed his quality on the left flank, beating his marker before putting a brilliant cross for Ramahlwe Mphahlele, whose header missed the target in the 15th minute with only goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi to beat.

In the 31st minute, George Maluleka attempted to beat Akpeyi from long range with a well struck effort, but it went inches wide of the right post.

Five minutes later, the Chilli Boys fought hard to penetrate the hosts and skipper Thamsanqa Sangweni failed to test keeper Itumeleng Khune as his effort went over the cross bar.

After great football from both sides and on the stroke of half time, Gustavo Paez also came close, receiving a cross from Edmore Chirambadare, yet the Venezuelan could not control his acrobatic shot as it went wide.

Despite the attempts to break the deadlock, it was 0-0 at half time.

10 minutes into the second stanza, Mphahlele made a good run into Chippa’s half and laid the ball for Tshabalala in the box, but the midfielder’s left-footed attempt sailed wide.

With 17 minutes to go, substitute Lebese sold his opponent a dummy and picked up Paez, but still the forward could not find his way past Akpeyi, who made a save.

Chiefs showed a sense of urgency and with five minutes to go, and Lebese converted in the box with a powerful left-footed shot following a clever pass from William Twala on the left flank.

Despite Dan Malesela’s men resilience to find an equaliser, Amakhosi controlled the proceedings as they marched on with the full three points.

The victory elevates Chiefs to number two on the log with 45 from 24 games, separated by goal difference from leaders Cape Town City.