Kaizer Chiefs 3-2 Highlands Park
Kaizer Chiefs claimed all three points at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening after coming out on top against a resilient Highlands Park in a five-goal thriller.
Amakhosi claimed the lead through Bernard Parker in the 39th minute, only for Bevan Fransman to level matters just three minutes later. Leonardo Castro put Chiefs back in front four minutes after the restart, with Dumisani Zuma notching their third on 71 minutes. Lesenya Ramoraka reduced the deficit in the 77th minute, but Chiefs were able to hold firm in the closing stages of the contest to claim a crucial victory and halt a three-match winless streak.
After a quiet start from both teams in Durban, the match sprang to life in the seventh minute when Highlands Park forced Chiefs keeper Daniel Akpeyi into making a save from a direct free-kick.
However, Chiefs were enjoying the bulk of ball possession, controlling proceedings but failing to create very many goalscoring chances.
The Lions of the North were let off the hook on the half-hour mark after a glaring miss by George Maluleka, while just three minutes later, Parker failed to control the ball with just the keeper to beat.
Highlands Park hit back with a good chance of their own in the 36th minute, but it went to waste as the attempted shot on goal flew wide of the mark.
Chiefs responded by going to claim the lead on 39 minutes, Castro and Ekstein combining well before the former played a neat pass to Parker, who slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Their celebrations were short-lived, however, as the visitors stormed back to level matters in the 42nd minute, Bevan Fransman heading home after a long throw into the danger area.
However, Chiefs redoubled their efforts after the half-time break and reclaimed the lead after just four minutes of play, Siphosakhe Ntiyantiya crossing in from the left flank and Castro slotting home to make it 2-1 to Amakhosi.
Chiefs stretched further ahead in the 70th minute as Dumisani Zuma finished off a lethal counter-attack with a top-quality finish.
The Lions of the North refused to lie down, though, as they again clawed their way back into the game. Taking their time building from the back, the ball was played into the box and the defence failed to clear their lines, allowing Lesenya Ramoraka to nip in and fire the ball into the back of the net.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, Chiefs decided to shut up shop in a bid to protect their slender advantage. The change in tactics worked to perfection as the Lions of the North saw a late Mahlangu effort flew wide of the goal.