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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Kaizer Chiefs’ tailspin continues with loss to relegation candidates TTM

The poor results keep piling up for Kaizer Chiefs as one of South Africa’s traditional powers continue to languish in the middle of the pack on the DStv Premiership table. Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat on the road to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila was a great representation of just how frustrating league play has been to endure for Amakhosi fans, a penalty-kick in the last seconds of the match giving TTM three precious points.

It was an ominous start for Chiefs in an opening half that saw both teams struggle to get going. Talented young midfielder Njabulo Blom put his team down a player in the 38th minute when he pulled down Celimpilo Ngema as the attacker surged towards the Chiefs penalty area. The 21-year-old had already been booked earlier in the half and the referee had no choice but to give Blom his second yellow card for stopping a clear attack.

With Kaizer Chiefs’ aforementioned luck this season, it only made sense when the hosts punished them a few minutes later. Thabo Mnyamane played a lobbed diagonal into the Chiefs penalty area and Thabo Rakhale did brilliantly to control the ball with his chest before fluidly turning and volleying home before the defense could contest the shot.

Despite the substantial setbacks and a 1-0 deficit at halftime, Chiefs showed heart and came out with purpose to trouble TTM even a player down. In the 62nd minute Chiefs striker Samir Nurkovic was put into a good position to shoot before being bustled over by a TTM defender, leading to the awarding of a penalty-kick. Lebogang Manyama’s pedestrian spot-kick was saved by TTM keeper Washington Arubi but Manyama did well to follow up and round Arubi on the dribble before tucking his rebound home.

However, heartbreak was on the cards for Chiefs and their misfortune came in the last seconds of second-half stoppage time. A botched bicycle kick from a TTM attacker in the Chiefs penalty box led to defender Siyabonga Ngezana accidentally touching the ball with his hand as he attempted to balance himself following the missed kick. It was the worst manner to concede a penalty, but Mnyamane was not in the mood to show mercy as he rolled his spot-kick past keeper Bruce Bvuma.

The result is agonizing for Chiefs but massive for TTM, moving the relegation candidates out of the drop zone at Chippa United’s expense. Chiefs remain in ninth place. Highlights from the match are below.