The Soweto giants have been struggling to jump into position two and now they did it by beating Chippa United 1-3 Kaizer Chiefs.
Chiefs took the game to Chippa right from the off as Billiat’s attempt at goal was blocked in the opening minute, while Chippa responded and were millimetres away from taking the lead through Bienvenu Evan Nga, whose toe poke came back off the upright.
Austin Dube, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Siyabonga Ngezana formed a reshuffled backline with Daniel Cardoso and Njabulo Ngcobo benched. Keagan Dolly was also benched as Kearyn Baccus started while Samir Nurkovinc was chosen to lead the line.
In the 15th minute, Khama Billiat released Nurkovic with a pinpoint pass and the Serbian striker had only the Chippa goalkeeper to beat but put it wide.
Despite the big miss, the Amakhosi frontman would get his goal in the 24th minute after Billiat’s square pass gave him a close-range finish.
Chippa had barely threatened but did have an attempt five minutes before half-time when Roscoe Pietersen rose highest to meet Tebogo Makobela’s corner and it was saved by Brandon Peterson.
The Chilli Boys continued their improvement from the latter stages of the second half and equalised in the 51st minute through their talisman Eva Nga, who slotted the ball calmly past Peterson after finding himself through on goal following a breakaway for his tenth goal of the season.
The game had opened up significantly after quite a cagey first-half and it certainly made for a more entertaining spectacle.
Chiefs were finding joy in the wide areas and Njabulo Blom’s cross gave Nurkovic a good opportunity but he put it wide of the left post.
Cole Alexander made his long-awaited return from injury when he came on for Phathutshedzo Nange in the 70th minute while Keagan Dolly was also introduced a few moments later in place of Bernard Parker.
Dolly made the perfect impact a few minutes after coming on when his superb free-kick into the top corner restored Amakhosi’s lead.
Alexander emulated his fellow substitute by also getting on the scoresheet to give Stuart Baxter’s men some breathing space when he side-footed home from Blom’s delivery with five minutes to go.