Royal AM locked horns with Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday evening in a Premier Soccer League clash. The match finished goalless, but it does not tell the full story of what transpired in the game.
After a difficult start to the campaign, Kaizer Chiefs got their season back on track with the 3-0 win over AmaZulu about three weeks ago and they were too strong for Stellenbosch as they made it make it back-to-back wins. Just before the international break, Kaizer Chiefs also played out a 1-1 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN Super 8 semifinal first leg.
On the back of that result against the champions, Amakhosi were looking to return to winning ways in the league against Royal AM at home.
However, Royal AM have suddenly picked up form after a poor start to the season. Having only lost just once to Chiefs in regulation time across all competitions since 2020, Royal AM came into the fixture in a bit of confident mood and in the end, they walked away with a point.
The brilliant Royal AM goalkeeper Xolani Ngcobo went home with man of the match award for his performances that ensured his side got something from the encounter.
How it happened between Kaizer Chiefs and Royal AM
Kaizer Chiefs played out a 0-0 draw with stubborn Royal AM side at the iconic FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.
Despite the draw, Chiefs still managed to move up to the fourth spot on the league standings – leapfrogging Orlando Pirates – who are not in action this weekend because of their continental assignment.
Royal AM, on the other hand, continued to climb up the log following another excellent defensive performance in Johannesburg.
Thwihli Thwahla were resolute in the opening exchanges as they looked to unsettle the home side in their numbers. but the hosts had the best opportunities of the half. Forward Ashley du Preez’s attempt went into the side-netting in the 17th minute after some fine counterattack by Amakhosi.
On the other hand, Chiefs goalkeeper Brandon Petersen made a big stop in the 27th minute to deny Hopewell Cele from giving the visitors the lead. That save woke the home side up as Edson Castillo struck the crossbar with a long-range effort in the 33rd minute, and the two teams could not be separated at the break as the scores remained goalless.
After the break, Kaizer Chiefs showed a bit of intent as they looked for the opening goal. Shortly after the restart, Jasond Gonzalez came close to grabbing his first goal for Kaizer Chiefs when his looping header was exquisitely tipped over the crossbar by goalkeeper Ngcobo in the 65th minute.
That was Gonzalez’s last effort in the game as he was withdrawn for Mduduzi Shabalala just after the hour mark. Christian Saile also came on for Pule Mmodi.
The new energy in attack for Kaizer Chiefs opened the game up and they were almost ahead as Saile struck the crossbar from close range in the 71st minute. From the follow up, Shabala forced Ngcobo into making another fine save, and ultimately, the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
Easily, Ngcobo was the hero of the evening having kept his side in the game for long periods much to the annoyance of Kaizer Chiefs.
Meanwhile Chiefs will face SuperSport United in their next league game on Wednesday, while Thwihli Thwahla will now lock horns with Sekhukhune United on Wednesday.
Kaizer Chiefs vs Royal AM confirmed lineups
Petersen, Kwinika, Msimango, Ditlhokwe, Hlanti, Maart, Castillo, Matlou, Mmodi, Du Preez, Gonzalez.
Ngcobo, Khune, Chivaviro, Dove, Frosler, Ngcobo N., Saile, Zwane, Shabalala
Ngcobo, Thikazi, Sithole, Mogaila, Manganyi, Mahlasela, Mabuza, Jiyane, Gamildien, Dlamini, Cele.
Ayabulela, Dlamini, George, Kobedi, Macuphu, Mpisane, Mpoto, Msomi, Ncobeni
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago