Venue: FNB Soccer City
Kick – off : 20:00 PM
Final Score : Kaizer Chiefs 1 (66′ Paez) – 2 (13′ Modiba; 45’+ Grobler) Supers port United
So we meet again!
Kaizer Chiefs hosted SuperSport United at FNB Soccer City on a chilly Wednesday night in a 2017/18 ABSA Premiership season encounter which saw the teams play against each other for the second time in just 10 days. Matsatsantsa A Pitori came into this encounter on the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat to cross town rivals Mamelodi Sundowns. The Pretoria based side travelled to Johannesburg having beaten Amakhosi in their last match in the MTN 8 Quater-final which they won 1-0 thanks to a Jeremy Brockie strike!
Head – to – Head and player omissions.
The two teams went into this match with Kaizer Chiefs having the better result against United, winning 2 and drawing 2 of their previous 4 league encounters against each other. With Zimbabwean left – back Onismor Bhasera not fit to play in this match, the stage was set for former Kaizer Chiefs player Keegan Ritchie to take over from make-shift left back Aubrey Modiba who had done well in that position against Mamelodi Sundowns. United started the game with marksman Brockie on the bench and loan returnee Dove Wome getting the nod ahead of him. Kaizer Chiefs also made changes to the team that drew 1 all in Bloemfontein against Celtic with Buchannan starting on the bench making way for George Maluleke. The stage was set for a cracking encounter, here’s how they lined up.
Early red card gets SuperSport on front foot
Both teams started the match on a medium to high intensity looking to get their rhythm by keeping the ball and looking for the forward pass to get the early goal. With Chiefs pressing United high up the pitch, United were forced to go for the long ball as goalkeeper Ronwen Williams looked to release Bradley Grobler, who saw space behind the Chiefs defence and left Gordinho for dead. This forced his centerback partner Mathoho to chase Grobler leading to a tactical foul by Tower on the Matsatsantsa striker, which led to referee Daniel Bennett giving a free kick to SuperSport and a 6-minute straight red card for Mathoho, game on!
Amakhosi coach Steve Khomphela moved hard man Katsande to centerbacks position as Matsatsantsa kept the pressure coming, spending a lot of time in Chiefs’ half on the probe for a goal. The pressure would pay off in the 13th minute as Aubrey Modiba headed in at the far post to give Matsatsantsa a 1 goal lead against a seemingly decaying Kaizer Chiefs on the night.
SuperSport Dominate but still wary of Chiefs pace on break.
Eric Tinklers’ side showed no modesty in trying to demolish Chiefs as they had a larger share of the possession in front of the Chiefs back 4 as Grobler’s shot forced a save from Brilliant Khuzwayo, who was about to have a long night. Komphela made a change on the 16th minute replacing a centerback with another one as Daniel Cardozo came on for Gordinho (whose mistake led to Mathoho’s need to foul Grobler). This meant that Chiefs maintained a good defensive structure and didn’t compromise their offensive players, a move that would later prove wise as Eikstien showed great guile in dribbling his way into the SuperSport box to take a shot forcing Williams to block it out for a corner. United did not sit back as they piled up numbers upfront Kekana and Ritchie on the overlap providing them with the advantage upfront in wide areas. It soon paid dividend as Grobler held his run perfectly to finish Teboho Mokoenas’ lovely weighted pass past charging Khuzwayo in referee’s optional time to make it 2-0 at half time. (Chiefs also had to make a forced sub as Masilela limped off the pitch for Philani Zulu)
Kaizer Chiefs bring the fight to United.
The second half took off with United making a half – time substitution with Jeremy Brockie coming on for Dove Wome, while Amakhosi made no changes to their first half 10 men. It was to be one of the most tactically and physically demanding match for Kaizer Chiefs in the longest time. Ramahlwa Mphahlele surged forward to help add offensive width for the Amakhosi outfit, as Katsande excelled in a right centerback position.
With Rama spending much of time as a right wingback, Chiefs looked to be alternating between an unorthodox 3-5-1 formation and 4-4-1 in defensive moments. The opening 15 minutes of the second half showed Chiefs as the more energetic side defending with a pressing, attack and overload approach that kept SuperSport United at bay. Chiefs kept probing with 4-man midfield (Maluleke, Eikstien, Tshabalala and Parker running between the lines and linking up with Paez).
Twala made his way to the pitch for Bernard Parker in the 5th minute and onto the wide midfield position, turning into a 4-1-3-1 set up in defensive moments. With Chiefs on the press and United looking to consolidate, Chiefs were the more enterprising of the two sides with Shabba forcing a 61st minute save from Williams. Paez’ run into Uniteds’ fullback areas on the right hand side led to a Modiba foul in the South American and a subsequent yellow card for Aubrey.
Gustav Paez would get his reward 4 minutes later as he finished a Ramahlwa and Shabba inspired goal, 2-1 the score.
United game management
With the match going into its later stages, United looked to sit back and absorb the pressure from Chief’s break attacks in an effort to consolidate possession and kill the game off when the chance availed itself. Eric Tinkler made the relevant adjustment adding Cole Alexander and Nhlapho for defensive stability and looked to play with 2 fullbacks (Modiba and Ritchie,Nhlapho and Kekana).
A very tactical football from the two sides in a high quality encounter that saw 3 goals being scored. It was a match SuperSport could’ve thought they would have done and dusted going into half time and Kaizer Chiefs came out fighting with Coach Steve Komphela alluding to the fact that Amakhosi showed great fighting spirit and mental strength, while Eric Tinkler wished his side could have shown more in mental strength by controlling matters more, 2-1 it ended on the night.
Starting Line – ups
Kaizer Chiefs : Khuzwayo, Mphahlele, Mathoho(red card), Gordinho(Cardozo), Masilela(Zulu), Katsande, Maluleke, Eikstien, Tshabalala(c), Parker(Twala), Paez
Subs: Bvuma, Cardozo, Twala, Buchannan, Chirambandare, Zulu, Zuma.
SuperSport United: Williams, Kekana, Gould(c), Daniels, Ritchie, Modiba, Mokoena, Letsholonyane, Phala (Nhlapho), Wome(Brokie), Grobler(Alexander).
Subs: Pieterse, Mashamaite, Nkatha, Brockie, Alexander, Nhlapho, Mbule.
Kaizer Chiefs vs SuperSport United tactical analysis :
Author: Neo Israel Phetlho