South-Africa

Chiefs can be beaten: Baxter

2014-03-02 14:28
Stuart Baxter (Gallo)

Durban - Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has insisted his team were not unbeatable despite their current streak of form which took them to an emphatic 4-0 Champions League first leg victory over Liga Muculmana De Maputo in Durban on Saturday night.

Amakhosi have not lost a game since November last year -- a run of 14 games without defeat.

"Anybody can beat us...honestly," he said after the thumping win at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

"I'm not being superficial when I say that, but anybody can beat us.

"We can beat ourselves, I mean the day we start believing all the hype is when we're ready for plucking down. If we make sure we don't then people will have problems to beat us because we're a decent team and we work very hard."

Early goals by Knowledge Musona and Siphiwe Tshabalala settled any nerves that a near-full strength Amakhosi may have had, before substitute Matthew Rusike and Erick Mathoho struck later on as the Soweto giants took a giant step towards the final qualifying round.

"Whenever you play at home first it's important not to concede a goal and important to try and take a good lead to the away leg.

"I think we achieved both. At times I thought we were a bit passive, but did very well and we'll go to Mozambique next week looking to finish the job in the second leg."

However, the trip to the east coast came at a cost after captain and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune suffered an ankle injury during the warm-up session and had to be replaced at the last minute by Reyaad Pieterse.

"We won't know the full extent of the injury until we get the scan back tomorrow (Sunday).

"It's quite swollen, which is probably not very good.

"Is it a strain? Is it a tear? We can't really tell at the moment. We will probably have to do without Itu (for the return leg)."

The injury would also mean Khune will miss Bafana Bafana's friendly international against Brazil on Wednesday.

Baxter, meanwhile, added that he was likely to rest players for the second leg in Maputo next weekend.

But he did admit he resisted the temptation to leave out players for the Durban meeting due to the trouble Mozambique had caused South Africa during the recent CHAN competition, a game Bafana Bafana won 3-1.

"Looking at the CHAN tournament, South Africa against Mozambique. It was not a cake walk and they have a few players that played in that game.

"So I was not tempted at all to go out with a weakened squad. We've had a very hectic programme and we have a hectic programme in front of us, so we'll have to rotate players.

"The result tonight means it can be more of a calculated decision rather than a gamble. It will not be one out of disrespect to our opponents because we respected them ahead of this game and we'll respect them for the return."

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