In a lacklustre encounter at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Kaizer Chiefs and Royal AM settled for a 0-0 draw in their DStv Premiership clash. While the result may not have been ideal for either team, there were a few positives to take away from the match.
Kaizer Chiefs, despite not securing all three points, moved up to fourth place on the standings with eight points from six games.
This steady climb up the table will surely boost their confidence going forward. On the other hand, Royal AM also benefited from the draw as they moved to fifth place with the same number of points and matches as Chiefs, indicating their determination to revive their campaign.
However, there is no time for either team to rest on their laurels. Kaizer Chiefs now need to shift their focus to their upcoming league clash with SuperSport United on Wednesday at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. They will be eager to return to their winning ways and secure all three points.
Royal AM, too, face a quick turnaround as they prepare to host Sekhukhune United at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg during the week. The back-to-back matches will test their squad depth and resilience.
Looking back at the match, Kaizer Chiefs coach Molefi Ntseki made two changes to the starting lineup. George Matlou replaced Mduduzi Mdantsane, while Jasond Gonzales came in for Tebogo Potsane. Royal AM coach John Maduka made one change, with Sabelo Sithole taking the place of veteran Thabo Matlaba in defence.
The first half saw Kaizer Chiefs create more scoring opportunities, but they were unable to break through Royal AM’s solid defence, led by Ayanda Jiyane and Wandile Mabuza. Gonzales, Ashley du Preez, and Pule Mmodi all had chances to find the back of the net, but their efforts were in vain.
In the 32nd minute, Edson Castillo came close to scoring for Kaizer Chiefs with a long-range shot that struck the crossbar. It was a moment of frustration for the team as they were unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
Royal AM also had their fair share of chances, with young attacker Sphiwe Cele leading their attacking moves, supported by Ruzaigh Gamaldien and Mfundo Thikazi. However, both teams remained goalless at halftime.
The second half saw Kaizer Chiefs return with renewed energy and determination. Their efforts almost paid off in the 65th minute when Gonzales’ close-range header was brilliantly saved by Royal AM goalkeeper Xolani Ngcobo.
In a bid to secure the crucial opener, Ntseki made three substitutions after 68 minutes, resulting in structural changes to the team. Reeve Frosler, Mduduzi Tshabalala, and Christian Saile replaced Zitha Kwinika, Gonzales, and Mmodi, respectively.
A few minutes later, Royal AM had a lucky escape as Saile’s powerful shot from close range ricocheted off the crossbar, leaving Ngcobo beaten. It was a missed opportunity for Kaizer Chiefs to take the lead.
Overall, the match lacked excitement and quality, resulting in a goalless draw. Both teams will need to regroup and improve their performances in the upcoming fixtures to achieve their respective goals for the season.