“We got numerous chances to score, but we lacked the finishing touch to put the ball into the back of the net,” Steve Komphela rued after the goalless draw against AmaZulu at FNB Stadium on Saturday night.
Kaizer Chiefs had a difficult first half, even though they looked set to have taken the lead when Teenage Hadebe headed on goal from close range. A miraculous save from the AmaZulu goalkeeper kept the ball out of the goal. Even Komphela admitted at the post-match press conference that he still can’t believe that the ball didn’t find the back of the net.
“AmaZulu defended well in the first half,” the Chiefs coach admitted, “but to defend the way they did demands sustained concentration which costs energy. It’s only possible to endure that kind of total focus for so long and that’s why we knew that we would get more goalscoring opportunities in the second half.”
And so it happened. Even Usuthu coach Cavin Johnson admitted that Amakhosi “could have scored a few goals in the second half”, before conceding that he was “happy with the point”.
Komphela pointed out that the substitutions early in the second half were made to “be more attacking and to break AmaZulu down”.
Hendrick Ekstein (49th minute), Ryan Moon (52nd) and Siphelele Ntshangase (65th) all came in to boost the attack. However, in the end, it didn’t help in finding that much-needed goal.
The result means that Amakhosi are in fifth position on the Absa Premiership log. “The table never lies,” Komphela reacted when asked if the club are now out of the title race, although he did add that the league is a marathon and that the title race is not over as yet.
The coach also spoke about the fact that Chiefs have drawn 12 of their 24 league matches, while, together with Maritzburg United, conceding the least number of goals of all PSL sides, which is 15 (Itumeleng Khune has kept a clean sheet in 13 league matches).
“We are well organised defensively,” Komphela commented, “but that doesn’t mean that we play defensively. We have a lot of attacking players in the side. Out of the 12 draws eight finished in nil-nil. That means that if we scored once, we would have won. We should have won many of these games as we created many chances. Our lack of goals has hindered our progress.”
The upcoming ten days there will be a FIFA-break during which Chiefs can focus on their next game, which will be a Nedbank Cup quarterfinal encounter against Baroka FC. The match will take place in the weekend of 31 March-1 April. No final date or venue has been confirmed by the PSL as yet.