Absa Premiership

Chiefs out of title race

2017-05-07 06:07
Tussle: Tsepo Masilela of Chiefs and Wayde Jooste of Golden Arrows battle for the ball during their Absa Premiership match. (Lefty Shivambu, Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Whoever said lightning does not strike twice was clearly wrong as once again Kaizer Chiefs conceded a late goal to dash their slim hopes of winning the title.

While Amakhosi were still over the moon following Ryan Moon’s 77th-minute goal, Knox Mutizwa pierced their hearts with a last-minute goal to end their title hopes as they now trail log leaders Bidvest Wits by seven points.

Just when they thought they had won the game, they forgot that it is not over until the final whistle and went to sleep when it mattered most.

Late in second half

Chiefs did not learn from their previous games as they followed the same pattern as against SuperSport United and Cape Town City, who both scored in the last minutes of their matches. And they paid the ultimate price, meaning they would finish the season without silverware.

This would put a big question mark on the future of coach Steve Komphela after going two seasons without any trophy.

But Arrows were worthy of a point as they threw everything into this game, particularly after going down.

Chiefs missed Itumeleng Khune’s services in the previous two games – a loss to Cape Town City and a draw with SuperSport United – and the goalkeeper showed why he was missed as he saved his side late in the second half.

But while they welcomed the country’s number one back, Amakhosi had to do without inspirational Siphiwe Tshabalala and winger Joseph Molangoane, and they clearly missed the duo’s creativity as they could not penetrate Arrows’ rear guard easily. Tshabalala was rested as a precaution to recover from a muscle strain, while Molangoane was suspended for the match.

The two sides did not create clear-cut chances and it was one of those dull games that could have gone either way.

Easily saved

After going four league matches without a win, Arrows came into the match with the aim of arresting their decline and to force their way back into the top eight. With Nduduzo Sibiya pulling the strings in the middle of the park, the visitors showed great determination, particularly when going forward as they wanted to break Chiefs supporters’ hearts. However, they were let down by indecisiveness and lack of composure in front of goals. Siphelele Magubane wasted a glorious opportunity to open the scoring following a sweet counterattack by Arrows but the midfielder’s tame shot was easily saved by Khune.

Chiefs, who are quickly losing ground at the top, were hoping to atone for their lost five points in the previous two matches, but did not play like a side eager to win the match. They had their moments but did not even trouble Nkosingiphile Gumede in Arrows’ goals. Although they were much better in the second stanza, they could still not trouble Arrows at the back until substitute Moon found the back of the net – few minutes after coming on for Bernard Parker. But Arrows had the last laugh as they snatched a point from the jaws of defeat.

. Earlier in the day SuperSport United defeated Polokwane City 3-2, with Ajax Cape Town beating Chippa United 1-0, both away from home.

Read more on:    bidvest  |  supersport  |  wits  |  kaizer chiefs  |  johannesburg  |  soccer


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Saturday, 29 February 2020
Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs, FNB Stadium 15:30
Golden Arrows v Highlands Park, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v AmaZulu, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 18:00
SuperSport United v Wits, Mbombela Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 01 March 2020
Bloemfontein Celtic v Baroka FC, Dr Molemela Stadium 15:30
Polokwane City v Black Leopards, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Friday, 06 March 2020
Maritzburg United v Polokwane City, Harry Gwala Stadium 20:00
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