Saturday, July 25, 2009

Victory! Kazier Beat Manchester to the Vodacom Challenge Title

Our upcoming and intending captors of the Big Four title have been beaten to the mini-tournament title for the Vodacom Challenge. As I recall, their recently bought star, Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor, was their forward and a key player in the match. How they lost, and everything else will be explained right now. I'll start with how the first half went. It was a 1-0 victory

First Half: The game kicked off in Tshwane, crowded, as the last few fans arrived to secure a packed Loftus Stadium. Manchester City kicked off, and the first few minutes of the match saw most of the play take place in the midfield, with the fans applauding good tackles and blowing their festive vuvuzelas.

In the 4th minute Chiefs won a corner, and Lebese sent in a fine cross which caused problems for the Citizens, but the defence was able to clear the ball and switch quickly into a counter attacking move. In the 15th minute Vidal was injured in an unfortunate collision with Chiefs and Bafana keeper Khune, forcing Ben Haim to replace him on the pitch.This game saw the debut of City’s new signing Emmanuel Adebayor, and the player was soon in the thick of things, combining well with Petrov in attack and being tightly marked by the Amakhosi defenders.

The game was tight in the midfield, with both sides working hard to keep the other from creating opportunities to push forward into attack. Snap shots from distance seemed to be the order of the day for the South African club, with Jambo and Yende having a go from long range on a few occasions.

The first half an hour produced few memorable chances with neither side looking particularly threatening. The fans in the crowd were keen to see attacking play from one of the potential English Premier League hopefuls, but it was not as entertaining as some of the previous Vodacom Challenge clashes.

In the 31st minute Adebayor had a shot on goal from distance, but the Chiefs defence did well to block the attack and frustrate the Togolese international.In the 40th minute Chiefs broke the deadlock after a few minutes of sustained pressure, as a corner filtered through to Ntuka, who controlled the ball and blasted the ball past Given in the Man City net. The reply seemed to show a mistaken touch from his hand, but perhaps the referee believed that it was not done intentionally. Manchester City’s response was quick, but Adebayor could not find the breakthrough, as his shot went wide of the target. The half ended with the score at 1-0 for Chiefs over their English visitors.
Second Half: Both teams made a number of substitutions at half time in an effort to bend the game in their favour, with Man City introducing Zabaleta, while the Amakhosi sent Nale and Dladla onto the pitch. In the 52nd minute Adebayor struck another shot at goal, but Khune stood tall and stopped the African Player of the Year from scoring his first City goal.
In the 54th minute Man City were once again on the counter attack, and a fine slide tackle from Ntuka gave the Amakhosi time to recover so that Adebayor’s eventual shot could not beat Khune.In the 57th minute the crowd were pleased to see the arrival of Brazilian superstar Robinho, thrown into the mix for the Citizens in an effort to find an equaliser.
On the hour mark a free kick from Nale slipped agonizingly wide of Given’s post, as the crowd responded with a groan of disappointment, before applauding the effort.The Citizens were pushing forward, desperate for a leveler, but the Chiefs defence did well to hold strong and stop them from advancing.
In the 67th minute Mathebula hit another free kick for the South African club, and Given had to be on alert to make sure that the strike did not slip past him into the goal. After the Soweto giants scored their goal they were in control of the game, with Manchester City struggling to find their form, despite the arrival of Robinho onto the scene.With time running out, the fouls became more frequent, and Chiefs were forced to play a quicker possession game in order to avoid the aggressive play.
In the 84th minute Chiefs had yet another break away, but Torrealba’s shot from an angle was weak and Given took it easily. A few minutes later Robinho had the Loftus crowd on their feet with a shot that was inches wide of Khune’s goal. Adebayor had a final chance to make a memorable debut for the Citizens, but he could not redirect a cross towards the goal. A few nervous final minutes passed, and the referee blew the whistle, as Kaizer Chiefs took the 2009 Vodacom Challenge title with a 1-0 win.

Good for the Kazier Chiefs, bad for Man City.

Wonder how they will still carry on about their taking over the Big Four Monopoly?

Comments? Please do.

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