Chiefs bring an end to Usuthu’s unbeaten start

Celimpilo Ngema of AmaZulu challenged by Yusuf Maart of Kaizer Chiefs during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 match between Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on the 26 August 2023 Β©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

AmaZulu suffered their first defeat under Pablo Franco Martin in the DStv Premiership after going down 3-0 to Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.

Pule Mmodi opened the scoring early on in Nasrec and added a second just before the hour mark, while Edson Castillo also got his name on the scoresheet late on to seal a first win for Amakhosi.

Usuthu sit 13th in the league standings after four rounds, having drawn their opening three games against Royal AM, SuperSport United and Richards Bay.

Coach Cijimpi made two changes from the team that shared the local derby spoils with the Natal Rich Boyz last weekend, bringing in Tshepang Moremi and Bongi Ntuli for Augustine Kwem and Victor Letsoalo respectively.

The Glamour Boys got off to a flying start, however, when Mmodi beat Veli Mothwa from inside the area on four minutes after Tebogo Potsane had seen his shot blocked a few seconds earlier.

Amaqhawe survived a couple of scares before the 20-minute mark as Mduduzi Mdantsane fired over from range and Mmodi also cleared the crossbar with a strike from inside the box.

Martin’s boys started to get a foothold in the match as the first half progressed, with Wayde Jooste seeing his effort go just wide of the near post from an angle on the right in the 34th minute before Ethan Brooks flashed a shot to the left of the goal on 42 minutes and Moremi drew a save out of Brandon Petersen on the stroke of half-time.

After Castillo and Zitha Kwinika missed early chances for Chiefs at the start of the second half, Moremi had an opportunity to restore parity on 49 minutes when he raced onto Riaan Hanamub’s delightful ball over the top, but wasn’t able to hit the target.

Moremi did manage to test Petersen with his next attempt on 56 minutes though, after being picked out inside the box by Celimpilo Ngema.

But instead the goal arrived at the other end just three minutes later as Mmodi slotted home from inside the area after Potsane headed the ball into his path.

We continued to fight despite being two goals down and substitute George Maluleka forced Petersen into a save with a strike from range on 81 minutes, although the defence switched off in the closing stages to allow Castillo to head home from a corner in the 87th minute.

Usuthu will look to bounce straight back when TS Galaxy visit the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Kaizer Chiefs (1) 3 (Mmodi 4′, 59′, Castillo 87′)
AmaZulu (0) 0

AmaZulu: V. Mothwa, M. Gumede (S. Mabiliso 84′), A. Mobara, R. Mphahlele, R. Hanamub, W. Jooste (M. Ndlovu 73′), E. Brooks (G. Maluleka 73′), R. Malepe (A. Kwem 73′), T. Moremi, B. Ntuli (S. Letsoalo 84′), C. Ngema.