“This is one game that we didn’t deserve to lose,” lamented Giovanni Solinas after watching his side go down 2-1 to Golden Arrows on Saturday. “We played and pushed hard to get something out of this one, but luck deserted us.”
Remarkably, Kaizer Chiefs conceded both goals from spot kicks after the referee found that Erick Mathoho and Teenage Hadebe had made an assortment of infringements. In particular, the one given against Mathoho seemed dubious and harsh from referee Eketsang Setloboko.
“We took charge of the match even when we were two goals down,” continued the Amakhosi coach. “Check how many times they shot at goal compared to how we raided their goalmouth. Count the corners and you’ll see that we tried hard to win the game.”
The loss marks two consecutive losses in domestic competitions, although in between these two games came the convincing 4-0 win over Zimamoto in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Solinas remains optimistic, “The PSL is tight and all teams are competitive.”
Chiefs, meanwhile, recorded a complaint for playing on a suspect Princess Magogo Stadium pitch.
Solinas commented, “In Port Elizabeth on Wednesday we were able to play a flowing game of football thanks to the excellent pitch. That was different from the one we had to play on tonight, which wasn’t conducive to play good football.”
Mathoho and Hadebe were retained in the centre of defence after their fine performances in midweek. “The two played well on Wednesday and we wanted to keep shape and momentum at the back,” the Italian coach explained his decision to continue with the duo.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele sustained a knee injury during the game and had to be substituted by Daniel Cardoso.
“We have played three games in seven days, so we had to shuffle the pack to keep up,” Solinas commented on some changes to the starting XI, while adding the following about Tuesday’s second leg match against Zimamoto, “We will have to quickly regroup before the CAF match on Tuesday. We will travel on Monday to play on Tuesday in Zanzibar.”