Samir Nurkovic scored a brace as Kaizer Chiefs downed Mamelodi Sundowns at the Loftus Versfeld today.
Amakhosi made two forced injury changes. Influential central midfielder Kearyn Baccus and Bernard Parker made way for Willard Katsande and Njabulo Blom.
In the Sundowns side, coach Pitso Mosimane lost Themba Zwane to a hamstring injury and in came Sibusiso Vilakazi.
Chiefs opener came in as early as the sixth minute. Reeve Frosler’s freekick met a Leonardo Castro flick that was finished off by Nurkovic past Kennedy Mweene.
From the Chiefs goal followed Sundowns total dominance. Kabo Yellow produced waves after waves of attacks and chances but Daniel Akpeyi was having a great afternoon.
The Nigerian keeper denied every one of Sundowns’ attacking players inside the first 45 minutes: Gaston Sirino, Ali Meza and Sibusiso Vilakazi. The best chance of the game fell for Andile Jali just seconds before half time.
The Matatiele-born midfielder was neatly picked by Thapelo Morena on the far right. In acres of space, on his right foot and his body set perfectly to curl a shot into the net, Jali simply swung the chance over the bar.
The second half started with the introduction of Mauricio Affonso coming in for Vilakazi. Mosimane’s other two changes were Lyle Lakay and Labohang Maboe.
With 12 minutes left, substitute Dumisani Zuma made a brilliant run to dribble past Musa Lebusa and Anele Ngcongca. The Pietermaritzburg-born attacker found Nurkovic who finished with his right for 2-0.
Chiefs held out for the win and are now five points clear at the summit - while Sundowns remain second.
The next action will be some Telkom Knockout quarter-final football. Chiefs will host Pirates in Durban on Saturday while Sundowns travel to Chippa United on Sunday.