STELLIES HOLD KAIZER CHIEFS IN THRILLING DRAW

Kaizer Chiefs and Stellenbosch FC played out a thrilling 2-2 draw in their DStv Premiership match at FNB Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The result – which saw all four goals scored in a crazy span of 13 second-half minutes – sees the Amakhosi remain in ninth place (two points off the top half of the table), while the Maroons rise to 10th, just one point behind the Soweto giants.

Chiefs almost claimed the lead as early as the third minute, with Nkosingiphile Ngcobo letting fly with a volley from long range which clipped the outside of Stellenbosch goalkeeper Sage Stephens’ left-hand post.

On 18 minutes Stellenbosch offered their first real threat on goal, with striker Stanley Dimgba powering past a couple of Chiefs defenders before scuffing a shot wide of the target – though gloves-man Daniel Akpeyi appeared to have the effort covered.

Chances were harder to come by in the remainder of the first half, though Chiefs did have a sight of goal in the 38th minute when Lebogang Manyama ran onto a well-weighted pass from Ngcobo, but his shot from a tight angle was turned away by the legs of Stephens.

Goalless at the break, Stellies had a great chance to claim the lead inside the opening 90 seconds after the restart, with Ashley du Preez beating Akpeyi to a long ball and getting away an effort, but the ball skipped harmlessly wide of the target.

Shortly thereafter Dimgba and Junior Mendieta linked up to create a chance for the latter, but he saw his shot blocked at close range by Chiefs’ goalkeeper, with the ball then rebounding between the players and drifting wide of the goal.

On 56 minutes it was the Amakhosi’s turn to open up their opponent’s defence, with Happy Mashiane running onto a fine through ball from Manyama to be one-one-one with Stephens, but the Maroons ‘keeper made a brave block at the attacker’s feet.

Stellenbosch continued their proactive approach and were rewarded with a goal in the 72nd minute: Mendieta’s teasing corner kick delivery drew Akpeyi off his line in an attempt to punch clear, but he was beaten to the ball by Nathan Sinkala, who headed home to give his side the ascendancy.

Yet parity was restored just five minutes later, with substitute Leonardo Castro glancing home a header from Reeve Frosler’s left-wing cross to make it 1-1. The Chiefs striker took a blow to the face in the course of scoring the goal but was soon patched up by his medical team.

The Maroons reclaimed the lead on 80 minutes, with another quality header finding the back of the net. Dimgba worked his way into space down the right, chipped in a cross and an unmarked Phathutshedzo Nange steered an effort into the top corner to put the visiting team 2-1 up.

Yet again Stellenbosch’s lead was short-lived, as a fourth goal arrived in the 85th minute. Mashiane provided a clever pull-back from the left of the penalty area and Ngcobo sliced home a shot to make it 2-2.

Any result seemed possible in what remained of the game, but the final whistle saw the teams still level at two goals apiece. Stellenbosch will be back in DStv Premiership action on Friday, 9 April when they host in-form AmaZulu, while Chiefs’ next league game is away to Baroka FC next Thursday, 15 April.

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 2 (Castro 77’, Ngcobo 85’)Stellenbosch FC (0) 2 (Sinkala 72’, Nange 80’)Chiefs: Akpeyi, Ngezana, Mathoho, Cardoso, Frosler, Katsande (Baccus 84’), Ngcobo, Parker, Manyama (Billiat 66’), Mashiane, Nurkovic (Castro 66’)Stellenbosch: Stephens, Macheke, Robertson, De Goede, van Heerden, Sinkala, Jabaar (Nange 76’), van Rooyen, Mendieta (Scott 76’), Du Preez, Dimgba (Skelem 86’)© Backpage TXT

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