Chiefs, Pirates dazzle in Durban
Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates found Durban to their liking on Saturday with convincing victories as the South African League Cup kicked off.
Title holders Chiefs scored twice within three minutes just before half-time to see off limited AmaZulu 2-0 five hours after Pirates overcame Golden Arrows more comfortably than the 1-0 scoreline suggests.
Early season league pacesetters Mamelodi Sundowns had to wait 80 minutes before grabbing the goal that sank hosts Platinum Stars 1-0 and defending champions SuperSport United won by the same score at home to Vasco da Gama.
The goals had an international flavour with Zimbabwean Nyasha Mushekwi hitting Sundowns winner and Liberia captain Anthony Laffor on target for SuperSport.
Chiefs always looked likely winners at Moses Mabhida Stadium but took 42 minutes before turning territorial supremacy into goals with Abia Nale darting on to a clever Kaizer Motaung pass and firing home from close range.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane started and finished the second goal 120 seconds later with three Chiefs queueing to score off a cross and no AmaZulu defender in sight.
The visitors squandered several second half chances to increase their lead against opponents who lacked attacking thrust and seldom troubled goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.
Arrows played second fiddle to recent Top 8 Cup winners Pirates at Chatsworth Stadium and it came as no surprise when they fell less than a minute into the second half.
Captain and defender Lucky Lekgwathi gave Brazilian goalkeeper Helton da Rocha no chance with a close-range header off a Daine Klate free kick and Arrows rarely threatened to equalise.
SuperSport have won three consecutive league titles but once again found the going tough in a cup competition with a 16th-minute drive from Laffor all they had to show against promoted Vasco at Moses Moripe Stadium outside Pretoria.
Striker Mushekwi, a mid-year signing from Zimbabwe club CAPS United, struck a superb winner as he dribbled past defenders and switched the ball from his right to left foot before scoring in the north-west town of Moruleng.
There are League Cup ties in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein Sunday and a further two three days later to complete the first round of the two-million-dollar competition. - AFP.