Bullish Chiefs win Soweto derby to shoot to second place and send Swallows to rock bottom
An invigorated Kaizer Chiefs crushed struggling Swallows 3-1 in the Soweto derby in Dobsonville on Sunday to shoot to second place on the DStv Premiership standings, sending the flightless Birds plunging to the bottom of the log.
After a rather tepid half-hour from both sides, Amakhosi found their gears towards the end of the first half with Keagan Dolly smashing in his sixth league goal in the 42nd minute and Khama Billiat doubling the lead in the 46th.
Billiat toyed with the home defenders throughout and completed his brace in the 53rd minute to make it 3-0 before Swallows captain Lebogang Mokoena scored the consolation goal in the 64th.
The win, their sixth from 13 matches with four draws and three defeats, sees Amakhosi displace Stellenbosch in second place, and eight points behind leaders and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, who have a match in hand.
For Swallows, the defeat convinced those who still had doubts that Brandon Truter’s team are in crisis as they sit rock bottom with one win from 12 Premiership matches and five draws and six defeats, and they have scored just three goals in the process.
Incredibly, the defeat also means that Swallows have won just two matches in their last 30 Premiership games if you include the last 19 league outings of last season.
Though they have not been that bad in defence, having conceded 10 goals in 11 matches before they got smashed by Chiefs, Swallows' defending was atrocious and a combination of inexperience in their backline and Dolly and Billiat slowly reinvigorating the deadly partnership from their Sundowns days.
Swallows lost the ball in dangerous areas in their own half and Dolly and Billiat capitalised from the home side’s defensive blunders.
While Chiefs trail leaders Sundowns by just eight points, they will need to win matches on a consistent basis to mount a serious challenge.
This win comes hot on the heels after Chiefs played badly in their 1-1 draw against AmaZulu, and will be looking to build on this performance against Swallows and build momentum towards the Christmas break.
Amakhosi will play Cape Town City, Lamontville Golden Arrows, Sekhukhune United, Royal AM and Maritzburg United before the end of the year.
Wrestling the Premiership title away from rampant Sundowns is first prize for coach Stuart Baxter, who was in charge when Chiefs last won a title back in May 2015, as they destroyed everything in front of them to win the then Absa Premiership campaign in record-breaking fashion.