Kaizer Chiefs 4-0 Simba: Rampant Amakhosi close to first Caf Champions League semifinals after claiming commanding first leg victory

Kaizer Chiefs are a step away from making their first ever semifinals in their history of the Caf Champions after beating Simba 4-0 in the first leg at FNB Stadium.

The South African side have struggled to make any meaningful impact in African club competitions two decades now. They lifted the African Cup Winners’ Cup in 2001. Kaizer Chiefs have sank among their peers in Africa and their recent entry in 2014 and 2015 editions of the Champions League ended in second round and first round exit respectively.

One would never anticipate fine campaign for Gavin Hunt’s men in this season’s edition due to series of problems baffling Kaizer Chiefs. Despite having a quite tougher Premier Soccer League season however, Amakhosi seems to have a relief in continental football and made a giants step into semis against one of the best teams in the African Champions League this term.

Simba had been a stronger opponent to this far of the Champions League conceding only two goals overall but only onces in the group stages and that was against defending champions Al Ahly that sent the Egyptian giants through out of Group A where their qualification was closely contested by AS Vita Club.

They had also not conceded more than a goal in single game and having been aware of those, Hunt needed the system and style to break Simba into pieces and opted to start with a 3-4-3 formation and heavily relied on powerful long balls which put a huge burden on Simba in both defensive and attacking senses.

First, Simba needed the men to deal with all the long balls into their danger zone and second the guys who will play them into Kaizer Chief penalty area. But there was a bigger challenge for the Tanzania side failing to control their aerial battles that let them down in early stage of the game.

Just after six minutes, Bernard Parker’s corner proved too difficult for Simba to deal with Samir Nurkovic acting the quickest to incur a flick-on from the near post and as the ball beats the entire Simba defense which Eric Mathoho head home in an empty net to give Kaizer Chiefs the lead.

It is the South African International’s third goal of the competition emerging as one of the six top scores of the Champions League.

Simba bench weren’t happy with how the men on the pitch dealt with aerial situations but it appeared that there was nothing they could do to help the situation as the home side continue to hurt Simba with their long balls.

Chiefs went straight into a commanding lead before the end of the first half when another long ball into the box beat Simba back line as unmarked Nurkovic at the far post rose and head home from a tight angel.

Simba gradually warmed into the game sticking to their short interconnected passes and opened Chiefs’ defense in a couple of times but failed to score.

Nurkovic who had just returned from injury got his second goal of the afternoon scoring from inside the box when once against Simba failed to deal with somehow aerial duel. Manyama exchanged it beautifully, danced through Simba defense before he finally played a nice one over Wawa just behind the box, Mohamed Hussein intervene but unfortunately saw his header divert on Nurkovic’s path who the Serbian kept composure and finished off with a half volley.

The goal that put the game beyond the away side sent Kaizer Chiefs bench into jubilation while grief was a key feature when Gomes Da Rosa face appeared on the camera. However, there was little celebrations from Hunt who still believed that Simba were capable of overturning the second leg tie and craved for more goals.

Hunt’s concern was finally addressed in a bold manner when two of Manyama and Leonardo Castro combined to produced the fourth goal. Manyama after receiving a pass from midfield, he sent a long one into the area that beat Joash Oyango and onto the head of Castro who calmly diverted it into the roof of the net.


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