Sports / Soccer
Kingston Nkatha silences Kaizer Chief critics
17 Dec 2014 at 08:49hrs | Views
Zimbabwe international striker Kingston Nkatha silenced some of his critics by scoring for Kaizer Chiefs yesterday as they extended their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership to 16 points.
The Amakhosi defeated Free State Stars 2-1 at Peter Mokaba Stadium. Another Zimbabwean, Ovidy Karuru, was also given a run in the match by Chiefs.
Nkatha has come under severe criticism from his team's supporters, with his coach Stuart Baxter coming to his defence.
It was only his second goal of the season.
Baxter was particularly pleased to see Nkatha impress.
"Their character showed itself in periods of the game when it was raining and they (Stars) were launching anything into the box," said Baxter.
"It's that sort of camaraderie that rides out the storm.
"I work with Kingston all the time, and it was nice to see him go to his teammates after scoring and his teammates feeling for him."
Nkatha and Siyabonga Nkosi took the Amakhosi to their 13th league victory in 17 undefeated matches, while Ea Lla Koto remain second last on the log after suffering their ninth defeat.
Chiefs looked the likelier scorers from the early minutes and first threatened through lanky Ugandan utility player Ivan Bukenya, who headed wide off the target in the seventh minute.
Bukenya, playing in the heart of midfield in place of the injured Willard Katsande, then volleyed over from an 11th minute corner kick as the Soweto giants took control of the play.
Nkatha must have thought he had opened the scoring in the 29th minute when he met Siyabonga Nkosi's cross with a powerful goal-bound header, but Stars goalkeeper Glen Verbauwede made an excellent save.
However, just six minutes later, the Zimbabwean striker got the better of the Belgian 'keeper with a clever flicked finish from close range, as he re-directed Tefu Mashamaite's header from a corner kick to make it 1-0.
It took Chiefs just seven minutes of the second half to double their advantage.
Nkatha turned from scorer to provider, playing a low cross from the left channel for Nkosi to steer the ball home from close range and make it 2-0.
Stars responded well to going two goals down and tested Chiefs goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo several times, without ever really looking like they were going to find the back of the net.
However, a bizarre own goal from Erick Mathoho in the 84th minute set up a nervy end to the game for the hosts.
"Tower" strangely headed into his own net from a corner kick when it seemed Khuzwayo had the ball covered.
Yet Chiefs were able to see out the match and pick up all three points on offer.
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Nkatha 35', Nkosi 52')
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Mathoho og 84')
Chiefs: Khuzwayo, Gaxa, Mathoho, Mashamaite, Masilela, Bukenya, Letsholonyane, Parker, Nkosi (Tshabalala 67'), Lebese (Karuru 90+3'), Nkatha (Mthembu 86')
Stars: Verbauwede, Cardoso, Sankara, Masehe, Thlone, Venter, Mabunda, Mdluli (Henyekane 82'), Mashego, Sekola, Abraw (Masana 84').
Source - SuperSport