Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) – Zambian Lazarous Kambole scored his first goal of the season for South African Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs to salvage a 1-1 draw against mid-table Stellenbosch in Soweto Sunday.
The forward controlled a cross with his chest and pushed the ball past captain and goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt on 69 minutes to cancel a first-half goal by Leletu Skelem at Orlando Stadium.
Skelem nodded a cross wide of Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi on 35 minutes after the quick breakaway to give the mid-table club from the Cape province a shock lead.
Kambole has struggled since joining Soweto-based Chiefs from Zambian club Zesco United in mid-2019 and rarely makes the starting line-up.
He came on at half-time against Stellenbosch and German coach Ernst Middendorp must hope that his maiden goal will bring a change of fortunes.
Kambole created a CAF Champions League record for the fastest hat-trick in a 2018 group match, bagging three goals in five minutes for Zesco against Mbabane Swallows in eSwatini.
The draw lifted Chiefs to 53 points from 26 matches, six more than defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, who have a match in hand.
Sundowns face Golden Arrows in Pretoria Monday hoping for a first win in five league matches since the league restarted on August 11 after a five-month lockdown due to the coronavirus.
On Thursday, Chiefs host Sundowns in what could prove the decisive match in the chase for a record 15 million rand ($875,000/740,000 euro) first prize.
– ‘Most difficult thing in football’ –
Middendorp admitted Chiefs have found it difficult to penetrate the massed defences of opponents since the Premiership resumed.
“The most difficult thing in football is breaking down a packed defence and when you push extra players forward there is always the danger of a counterattack,” he said.
“We kept attacking after the equaliser and, obviously, the result is not what we wanted. We will take the point and move on.”
Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker hailed the “effort, commitment and focus” of a team who have taken seven points from three games since the restart in a Gauteng province ‘bio bubble’.
“This was a massive point against a club who hammered us 4-0 in the first round. The draw was a deserved reward for our hard work throughout the match.
“It was not a spectacle with too much direct football, but I was pleased with the way we contained Chiefs, restricting the space in which they could attack us.”
Meanwhile, 10-man Cape Town City upset Orlando Pirates 1-0 at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria with Kermit Erasmus heading the match-winner in first half stoppage-time.
Former Pirates midfielder Mpho Makola was sent off on 33 minutes after being yellow-carded twice and his team-mates defended brilliantly under constant pressure.
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