Páez double leads Chiefs to win
Gustavo Páez bagged a brace as Kaizer Chiefs beat Maritzburg United 2-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday evening.
At a venue were they have found the going historically tough, the Amakhosi proved their mettle to subsequently move up to fourth place on the log standings.
Chiefs made their intentions clear from the onset as Páez directed an early range-finder at goal in the sixth minute. Richard Ofori, though, was alert to the danger with the big Ghanaian forced into a good save.
At the other end of the pitch, Yazid Atouba went close as his deflected free-kick almost had the beating of Itumleng Khune. The Bafana Bafana goalkeeper doing exceptionally well to keep the ball from crossing the line with an unorthodox save; palming the ball from danger like a volleyball player.
Páez opened the scoring at the other end of the pitch with 14 minutes on the clock. The Venezuelan guiding the ball home on the rebound after Bhongolwethu Jayiya failed to convert Siphiwe Tshabalala’s defence splitting pass.
This sparked the hosts into life with Maritzburg launching wave-after-wave of attack. But, Khune and his defence stood firm despite constant pressure on a slippery pitch in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
Atouba’s dipping shot well saved by the Glamour Boys No 1 in the 33rd minute before showing excellent agility to deny Evans Rusike from a free-kick, before getting to his feet and clearing the rebound.
The Team of Choice continued to tighten the screw, but Khune looked almost unbeatable as Chiefs held a slender lead at the break.
Maritzburg resumed their assault on Khune’s goal following the interval, but the visitors remained resolute, and launched attacks of their own. Ofori forced into a diving save to deny Jayiya in the 57th minute.
Páez duly completed his brace from the resulting corner-kick. The forward’s shot deflecting off Siyanda Xulu before rolling into the back of the net past Ofori, who was caught flat-footed.
The non-stop tempo continued until the final whistle, with Maritzburg rewarded for their persistence as they won a penalty kick in the 89th minute.
Evans Rusike, though, was denied by Khune who made a world class save; diving low to his right.
Frustrating night for Maritzburg as they just couldn’t succeed in putting the ball in the back of the net and – as a result – Chiefs jump above their hosts on the log standings.
Maritzburg United 0
Kaizer Chiefs 2
Páez 14′ 60′
Maritzburg United: Ofori; Xulu, Fransman, Sanoka (Makaringe 46′), Weidlich (Mokate 79′) – Shandu, Mekoa , Maboe, Atouba – Fillecia (Van Wyk 78′), Rusike
Kaizer Chiefs: Khune; Moleko, Gordinho, Cardoso, Zulu – Katsande, Malope (Ekstein 71′), Meyiwa (Mathoho 67′) – Jayiya (Parker 80′), Tshabalala, Páez