Matthew Rusike of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates a goal with teammates
Saturday Feb 14, 2015. 21:40
Kaizer Chiefs needed an injury-time goal to claim a 2-1 win over Botswana’s Township Rollers in a preliminary round, first leg CAF Champions League clash at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
It looked as if Amakhosi would steamroll their visitors after claiming an early lead and carving out several more good chances in the opening quarter of the game, but the Botswana side grew in confidence as the match progressed and deserved more for their efforts.
It took the hosts just six minutes to break the deadlock. After winning the ball in midfield, Bernard Parker was able to put Matthew Rusike in on goal with a well-weighted pass and the Zimbabwean coolly beat the goalkeeper to make it 1-0.
Amakhosi created several chances to add to their advantage, but the likes of Rusike, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala spurned their opportunities and with them a chance to effectively kill off the game inside the first half hour.
The Soweto giants were nearly punished for their profligacy in the 35th minute when a fine passing move from Rollers gave Jerome Louis a sight of goal with only the ‘keeper to beat, but he blazed his shot high and wide.
The half ended with Chiefs still a goal to the good, but Rollers remedied that just a couple of minutes after the restart. Some slick one-touch passing saw the ball fall for striker Segolame Boy in the penalty area and he beat Itumeleng Khune with low, left-footed shot to make it 1-1.
The match looked destined to end in a draw, but a corner kick in the third minute of injury time at the end of the game saw Tefu Mashamaite get up ahead of the goalkeeper and power home a header to hand his side a narrow 2-1 victory.
The return leg will be played in Gaborone in a fortnight’s time.