It was a game of two halves at the “Home of Soccer” as AmaTuks' captain Tebogo Monyai cancelled Bernard Parker's goal to hold the defending champions Kaizer Chiefs to a one-all draw on Wednesday night.
The visitors enjoyed the bulk of the possession in the initial stages of the match but the home side created the first clear opportunity. In the 8th minute Chiefs managed to string some passes and maneuverer past the Tuks defence and Letsholonyane found himself unmarked on Arubi’s right but his final shot went wide off target. A mosque clearance from Gwala in the 27th minute allowed Tshabalala to pounce on the ball and make the run on the left, once in the box he played it back to parker who slotted it past Arubi’s right to open the scoring.
In the 37th minute Zwane left Gaxa on the ground and sent in a cross but there was no one waiting for it on the far post. A minute later Parker latched onto a through pass down the center of the Tuks defence but Monyai was able to “jog” him and delayed him enough to allow Arubi to dive at the Ball at Parker’s feet and win a foul.
Tuks went on the attack immediately and Kebede attempted a first time shot on the edge of the penalty box to try catch Pieterse off guard but he recovered well and collected the ball just under the crossbar. On the stroke of halftime Kebede attempted another low shot at goal which had Pieterse scrambling to his right but the ball just missed the upright. And that was how the scoreline stayed going into the half time break.
In the 57th minute Gwala gave the ball away cheaply in the middle of the park allowing Chiefs to attack in numbers but the final pass to Tshabalala on the right was too long and he could only manage to direct it to the touchline for a throw-in instead of a goalkick. In the 64th minute Ntombayithethi intercepted the ball in the center circle and ran straight at the Chiefs defence, he played a through pass to Mnyamane who could not chip the ball over the onrushing Pieterse and Chiefs cleared their lines.
In the 70th minute AmaTuks won consecutive corners and it was with the second corner that Chiefs failed to clear their lines and a loose ball fell to captain Monyai outside the penalty box and despite his miss kick the ball somehow snuck past Pieterse and ricocheted off the upright into the back of the net for the equaliser.
The home side threw everything forward to try win the match but the Tuks defence stood their ground and hung on to until the end of the match to earn a point away from home.
“We were under a lot of pressure coming into the match but we are happy to get a point on the board. With a better mind-set we could have won the match, tonight was a good a chance as we have gotten in a long time for us to put one over Chiefs. They looked very flat; perhaps they were hung over from the weekend. We did not come here for a draw, for us one of two things could have happened, they could either be tired and give us a chance to have a run at them or we could have suffered the back lash from them losing the cup final. Fortunately it was the first scenario. Tonight was the first time in a while that I saw the boys play with higher level of confidence and I hope they will carry the momentum into the weekend and going forward.” Said Coach Sammy Throughton
AmaTuks’ next assignment is at home against Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday 27 September 2015. Kick-off is at 15h00.
AmaTuks XI: Arubi, Mwedihanga, Jaure, Gwala, Monyai, Ketjijere, Zwane, Nkoana (Mnyamane 59’), Ntombayithethi (Maruping 66’), Nyondo, Kebede
Chiefs XI: Pieterse, Gava, Mathoho, Masilela,Gordinho, Katsande, Lebese (Mthembu 72’), Parker (Karuru 82’), Letsholonyane, Tshabalala, Abraw