An improved second half showing from Kaizer Chiefs was not enough to prevent Amakhosi from slumping to a disappointing 2-1 midweek home defeat to Cape Town City.
Chiefs started the game slowly as the visitors had the better of the opening half. After an uneventful opening 15 minutes, referee Eugene Mdluli waved away a soft penalty shout from Tashreeq Morris for an innocuous push on him by Njabulo Blom.
The danger signs were there for Amakhosi in the 17th minute when after a City short corner Nkosingiphile Ngcobo intercepted a through ball, with the ricochet falling to Morris, who blasted his shot over the crossbar when unmarked on the edge of the six-yard area.
The visitors would not be denied in the 22nd minute when after a flowing City move down the left flank, Morris reacted quickest to a teasing cross from City full back Terrence Mashego, beating Daniel Cardoso to the ball and side footing his finish past Itumeleng Khune at the near post to give the Citizens the lead.
The visitors nearly doubled their lead in the 28th minute, with Mashego again initiating a move which saw Surprise Ralani and Faghrie Lakay combining, with Khune at full stretch to deny Lakay’s shot, the Chiefs keeper gratefully gathering the rebound off his goal line.
Chiefs first chance of the game came in the 32nd minute when Siyabonga Ngezana’s speculative overhead kick was tipped over the bar by City keeper Peter Leeuwenburgh.
Coach Gavin Hunt introduced Kearyn Baccus at halftime to spark a listless Amakhosi into life, the substitute having a shot charged down by the City defence from a Chiefs corner soon after the restart.
In the 52nd minute Chiefs were punished for their tentative defending, allowing Ralani plenty of space to take a long range shot on goal which deflected off Erick Mathoho and trickled past a hapless Khune and into the net for a soft second goal.
Chiefs nearly responded immediately when Samir Nurković’s shot was cleared off the goalline by defender Taariq Fielies, after keeper Leeuwenburgh had spilled Lebogang Manyama’s cross.
On the hour mark Nurković should have done better with his finishing after being played through by Khama Billiat, blasting his shot over the bar when he had the time to pick his spot.
In the 65th minute Manyama created a chance for himself with some good skill, but his shot fizzed wide in what was his last contribution of the game before he was replaced by Happy Mashiane.
In the 66th minute Chiefs pulled a goal back when Ngezana’s delightful cross from the right was powered home by Baccus’ header to give the Amakhosi a lifeline.
With just over five minutes to go, a marauding Ngezana down the right got onto the end of a cross from Happy Mashiane, but his shot went into the side netting.
Amakhosi laid siege to the City goal late in the game, but their finishing lacked composure and the Citizens saw out the game to take all three points on the road.
The loss deprived Chiefs of the chance to get into the DStv Premiership top eight, as defeat sees them languish in 11th spot with 25 points, while City cemented their spot in the top half of the log.