Kaizer Chiefs smashing four past Simba has Gavin Hunt giggling in stitches
Domestically Kaizer Chiefs have perhaps never been worse, and in the Caf Champions League they just seem to get better, demolishing Simba SC 4-0 in the first leg of Amakhosi’s historic first quarterfinal at FNB Stadium on Saturday night.
A team that has won two matches in 15 to sit in 10th place in the DStv Premiership are now assured a place in the last four of Africa’s premier continental competition, barring an event as improbable and fantastic in Dar Es Salaam on Saturday.
Erick Mathoho’s sixth minute strike, Samir Nurkovic’s blistering brace in the 34th and 57th and Leonardo Castro’s fourth in the 63rd even had embattled Amakhosi coach Gavin Hunt, barely able to manage a smile in this domestic annus horribilis, giggling in stitches.
Simba signalled ambition from Tanzania’s top clubs by first reaching the quarterfinals in 2018-19. This season they beat Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly 1-0 and topped Group A.
They arrived with a smattering of class in foreign players, including two Zambia internationals – ex-Zesco United winger Clatous Chama on the left wing and Larry Bwalya at playmaker.
But the continental Chiefs again were unrecognisable from their domestic version playing a commanding first half against a Simba overawed by their surroundings.
Amakhosi took the lead when Nurkovic flicked on Bernard Parker's corner and Mathoho buried the header.
Playing a 3-4-3 that gave options in defence and attack, the Soweto giants early on displayed some of the defensive jitters that have plagued them, such as when striker Chris Mugalu forceed a save off the legs of Bruce Bvuma.
Daniel Cardoso stretched and missed the target found at the far post by a Parker free-kick. Then Frosler’s well-shaped cross found Nurkovic free of his marker to excellently direct a header from 12 metres into the top-left corner.
Leonardo Castro replaced an injured Dumisani Zuma a minute later.
The question back from the break was how Chiefs would set up and respond to a tricky 2-0 lead. Their answer was emphatic, producing two more strikes.
A Simba throw-in in their half was won by Chiefs, and Lebogang Manyama knocked over a defender to burst into the area. Right-back Mohamed Husseini’s header only fell perfectly for Nurkovic to smash a second super finish on the volley.
When Manyama’s tantalising cross saw Castro’s diving header beat goalkeeper Aishi Manula for a fourth time the improbability of it all had Hunt tickled.
Kaizer Chiefs (2) 4
Erick Mathoho 6th; Samir Nurkovic 34th, 57th; Leonardo Castro 63rd
Simba SC (0) 0