Kaizer Chiefs ran out convincing 3-1 winners over Black Leopards at the FNB Stadium on Saturday when the teams clashed in a Castle Premiership league game on a wet and cool Gauteng afternoon.
Collins Mbesuma made a brilliant, yet disappointing debut for the gold and the beautiful when Black Leopards hosted the league challengers at the Amakhosi's home ground, the FNB Stadium.
Mbesuma scored the opening goal in the 16th minute when fellow striker David Radebe found the Zambian under-20 international in the danger area. The striker, upon scoring the goal, fell awkwardly on the wet pitch and injured his right ankle, forcing coach Ted Dumitru to replace him with Sibusiso Dlamini - in the 20th minute.
Despite their early loss, the visitors continued to pressurise the Venda team.
Chiefs got their second in the 23rd minute when Stanton 'Stiga' Fredericks found an unmarked Junior Khanye with a pin-point cross from his right-midfield position. Khanye beat his marker before unleashing a thunderbolt from 26-yards and despite getting a touch to it, Leopards keeper Walter Khumalo was beaten by the velocity of the ball.
The Amakhosi faithful spurred on their charges despite the rain which started pouring down at Soccer City.
Lidoda Duvha were not to be outdone and replied via the boot of Kelvin Mushangazike who placed the ball well beyond the reach of Chiefs veteran keeper Brian Baloyi four minutes later.
Leopards continued in search of an equaliser but it was their former striker Sibusiso Dlamini who put the final nail in the coffin of coach Shakes Mashaba's team.
In the 35th minute Fredericks, showing the form that made him the Amakhosi player of the year last season, skinned two players in the Leopards box before playing the ball to the feet of Dlamini who tapped home from seven yards out unmarked.
The crowd went wild sensing an avalanche of goals and the first half ended 3-1 in favour of the Phefeni glamour boys.
In the second half Radebe, Dlamini and Khanye ran tirelessly at the Leopards defence who were caught for pace, and trickery by the diminutive Khanye, more popularly known as 'Agahowa', as his aggressive running on the ball is likened to that of Nigeria's international striker Julius Agahowa.
Japie Motale had a torrid time marking Khanye and in the 65th minute the former Supersport player was given his marching orders by referee Ace Ngobo for a second-bookable offence on the Amakhosi winger.
The Soweto giants could not capitalise on their one-man advantage despite Dumitru bringing on the likes of Thabo 'Tsiki-Tsiki' Mooki and Jabu 'S-Curl' Mendu.
The latter scorched the fingertips of Khumalo with a vicious long range shot from 30-yards out in the dying minutes of the game that was heading for goal.
Chiefs move into second place in the Castle Premiership, just three points behind leaders Santos who have played five more games.