Chiefs did level just after the interval through Shaun Bartlett, but the introduction of his former teammate Darren Bent proved to be influential in the outcome. The new signing making a powerful, driving run and unselfishly rolled the ball into the path of Berbatov to apply the finishing touch.
The afternoon of Younes Kaboul did not get off to the best of starts when he was clattered by the boot of Shaun Bartlett by accident in the opening couple of minutes. It meant a quick entry for Anthony Gardner.
It was a cool winter afternoon in Durban, perfect football weather coupled with an inspiring atmosphere inside the ABSA Stadium, with the noise instantly doubling every time Chiefs took possession.
The game itself was a bit slow to get going and neither side really established a foothold in the encounter in the first ten minutes, with both defences and goalkeepers not being put under particular examination.
The din inside the stadium really cranked up on 15 minutes when Mabhuti Khanyeza had the first shot of the game. It was a wayward effort that Paul Robinson was able to wave away from the moment it left the boot of the striker, but it certainly bought the Chiefs' superb support to their feet.
South Africa's most popular team were having the better of the exchanges towards the midway point of the half, while there was frustration from Robbie Keane over offside decisions going against him that led to the captain being booked by referee Wilson Mpanisi.
Khanyeza put in another shot that was deflected away by Michael Dawson before Thabo Mooki failed to capitalise on a free-kick from the edge of the area.
Our first opening was carved out seven minutes before the break when Keane drifted in from the left flank and teased in an inviting cross that resulted in a glancing header from Dimitar Berbatov that flashed just wide of the upright.
A minute later Keane saw to it that his name was first on the scoresheet when he profited from a fair degree of uncertainty in the Chiefs' defence, who stood still waiting for a flag with the striker in possession from around penalty spot distance. Goalkeeper Emile Baron did quickly advance, but Keane flicked the ball over his head and into an empty net.
It was Keane's third goal in as many pre-season friendly games so far.
The Chiefs' response came five minutes into the second half when Onismor Bhasera sped down the left and fizzed in a cross that Bartlett was able to connect with ahead of the advanced Robinson and Gardner. The score was levelled and the ABSA Stadium erupted, a sea of gold shirts rising like a wave.
Robinson was back in action soon afterwards, diverting another Bhasera cross that was looking goalbound over the crossbar.
The advantage was restored just after the hour mark when substitute Darren Bent darted down the left channel, speeding clear of his marker and looking set to shoot, before opting to square and present Berbatov with the opportunity to tap into an empty net. The Bulgarian duly opened his account for pre-season in his first game of the preparation period.
Chiefs pressed for an equaliser and there were one or two scary moments, but the boys pretty much retained overall control of the match and were relatively comfortable in getting through to the final whistle without too many alerts. Cape Town and the Orlando Pirates next.
Kaizer Chiefs: Baron, Tau, Bhasera, Mayo, Nzama, Spencer (Nengomasha, 61), Mooki, Ngobese (Thasabala, 72), Zwane (Phala, 72), Bartlett (Djiehoua, 77), Khenyeza. Subs: Bocsker, Sibeko, Mototo, Bulu, Mathebula.
Spurs: Robinson, Ifil (Daniels, 78), Rocha, Kaboul, Dawson, Routledge (Bent, 57), Zokora, Jenas, Malbranque, Berbatov (Taarabt, 83)), Keane. Subs: Cerny, Gardner, Maghoma, O'Hara.
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Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov got our Vodacom Challenge campaign off to a winning start with the goals that secured a 2-1 victory over the Kaizer Chiefs.