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Absa Prem: Kaizer Chiefs stunned by Polokwane City

Absa Prem: Kaizer Chiefs stunned by Polokwane City

A first-half penalty from Jabulani Maluleke proved the difference between the two sides as Polokwane City upset Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The result sees Amakhosi suffer their first Absa Premiership defeat of the season, with Rise and Shine moving up to an impressive second behind Chiefs on the table.

It was clear from the first whistle that Polokwane came to play, and there were some nervy moments for the hosts early on as they found themselves pinned back following a series of corners.

Chiefs soon responded, however, as new arrival Kearyn Baccus made his presence felt with a few darting runs, even if his link-up play with Bernard Parker left a little to be desired.

Disaster struck for the home side in the 15th minute when the referee pointed straight to the spot after Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi brought down Charlton Mashumba in the box.

Up stepped faithful Polokwane servant Jabulani Maluleke, who fired a well-placed penalty to Akpeyi’s left to silence the Amakhosi crowd.

That goal seemed to light a fire under the Chiefs players, who quickly set about dominating possession as they went in search of the equaliser.

A well-directed header from Eric Mathoho nearly did the trick shortly after the half-hour mark, but his effort was just inches wide.

Chiefs continued to threaten the Polokwane goal, with Baccus causing most of the problems, but the final pass eluded them as it finished 1-0 to Polokwane at the break.

Ernst Middendorp’s intentions were clear as he brought on Khama Billiat and Dumisani Zuma at the start of the second half, with Lazarous Kambole and Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya making way.

Billiat’s arrival nearly paid immediate dividends, with only Mwenya Chibwe’s excellent save preventing the Zimbabwean international’s first-time shot from finding the target.

Moments later Baccus fired a thundering striker from distance that went just wide as Polokwane continued to lead by the skin of their teeth.

A clearly frustrated Middendorp screamed for a penalty on the touchline shortly after, but the referee waved play on.

For all their efforts, Chiefs simply couldn’t crack the Polokwane defence, and as the second half wore on the visitors grew in confidence as Middendorp’s men seemed to run out of ideas.

Chiefs did almost equalise 10 minutes from time after earning a free kick right on the edge of the box. The initial effort was a poor one, but the rebound forced Chibwe into an excellent save.

But there was no way through for the hosts on this occasion, as Rise and Shine held on for the big win to move into second place on the log, level with Chiefs on 10 points but just behind on goals scored.

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