Absa Premiership

Baxter joins exclusive club

2014-11-06 17:15
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has truly come full circle.

Wednesday evening's 2-1 Premiership victory over AmaZulu in Durban marked the Briton's 100th game in charge of the Soweto giants, a career which began with a 6-0 drubbing against the same team, at the same venue, in his first ever local league encounter.

The victory capped a celebratory evening for both him and the club as Amakhosi went 11 points clear at the top of the league standings.

For Baxter, it was his 63rd win from a century of fixtures, the first of which went horribly wrong when Chiefs were thumped 4-1 in the top-eight competition in August 2012.

That defeat at Loftus Versfeld, against Johan Neeskens' Mamelodi Sundowns, would be enough to strike fear in the heart of even the most astute of coaches, but Baxter soon made amends and, six days later, turned things around at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The win kickstarted a hugely successful first season in charge of the club, as Chiefs walked away with both the league and Nedbank Cup silverware.

The former Bafana Bafana and England under-19 manager has lifted three out of the country's four trophies, with the Telkom Knockout title the only one still evading the 61-year-old. Baxter's 100 games in charge have returned a fruitful record of 63 victories, 23 draws and 14 defeats and his win percentage of 63 is on a par with that of legendary Scotsman Sir Alex Ferguson.

In his 70 league outings, the Briton has a proud record of only eight defeats and a win percentage of 61.

Baxter's favourite competition appears to be the Nedbank Cup, with an 89 percent win record where Chiefs won eight out of nine and have never lost under Baxter, despite being ousted on penalties by Wits in 2013.

According to Fifa rules, a defeat as a result of a penalty shootout is not classified as a defeat and thus, Baxter can claim to have never lost in the Nedbank Cup.

Chiefs have been most unconvincing in the knockout competition, where Baxter has his worst win record of 50 percent. Chiefs won three out of their six ties over a two-year period.

Scoring 168 goals in 100 games, Chiefs have leaked 64 at the back under the guidance of their moustached tactician.

There is debate about whether or not Wednesday's win was indeed Baxter's 100th game.

While Chiefs have taken part in 101 games since Baxter took charge, he was absent from the team's defeat in the Ivory Coast in April, when he decided not to travel to Abidjan for a Caf Confederations Cup match against ASEC Mimosas. Assistant coach Doctor Khumalo took charge in that match with a second string side as Chiefs had already lost the first encounter.

Read more on:    kaizer chiefs  |  psl  |  stuart baxter  |  johannesburg  |  soccer

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