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Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 AmaZulu

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Rusike: Opened the scoring

Rusike: Opened the scoring

Kaizer Chiefs will head into the festive break still in pole position after a comfortable 2-0 win over AmaZulu on Tuesday night at FNB Stadium.

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Matthew Rusike opened the scoring for Amakhosi in the 36rd minute, before substitute Bernard Parker made sure of victory with his strike eight minutes before full-time.

Chiefs now finish the first half of the season on 35 points in the Premier Soccer League standings after 16 matches, while Usuthu remain rooted to the foot of the table.

After a quiet opening 17 minutes, Mark van Heerden had the first real opportunity of the fixture, when his free-kick effort was comfortably saved by Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

The hosts had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Thabo Nkosi in the 27th minute, after Rusike appeared to have been brought down inside the AmaZulu area.

Khune was called into action again in the 30th minute when he made a splendid diving save to deny Van Heerden for a second time in the game, after the AmaZulu defender hit an accurate free-kick attempt from just outside the area.

Chiefs settled into the game and were rewarded for their continued pressure when Rusike picked up a pass from George Lebese outside of the area.

The striker unleashed a stinging drive at goal, which beat Usuthu shot-stopper Tapuwa Kapini to his left for the opening goal.

Chiefs came out into the second half looking to extend their lead, with Rusike threatening 10 minutes into the second period, but failed to get his shot on target from inside the box.

Baxter introduced Parker in the 58th minute, replacing Rusike, who picked up a knock to his ankle, bringing an end to the youngster's solid first-half display.

Usuthu came close in the 65th minute, when Goodman Dlamini made a darting run into Chiefs' area, but was expertly blocked by Tefu Mashamaite with a sliding tackle.

A minute later and at the other end of the pitch, Lehlohonolo Majoro failed to put away a simple chance, when he steered a cross from Lebese narrowly wide of the mark with his head.

Baxter's decision to bring on Parker was rewarded in the 82nd minute, the league's top-scorer having extended his tally to nine for the season with a superb curled effort from outside of the 18-yard area.

Parker received a neat pass from Kingston Nkhatha -- a fellow second-half replacement -- before the Bafana Bafana hitman fired in his effort, leaving Kapini with no chance.

However, Chiefs were dealt a blow just two minutes later when Willard Katsande was sent off for a second bookable offence.

As time wound down, chances fell to Nkhatha, Parker and Majoro, but none came close as the hosts rounded-off a dominant display.

Posted: 18/12/12 19:37

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