Lament at lack of top strikers
Mosimane and Baxter bemoan technical abilities of their players after stalemate
UP THERE, on the country’s most wanted list, along with criminals, jobs and the scrapping of e-Tolls, are players that are gifted with the art of scoring goals.
This was once again confirmed after two of the country’s top teams shared spoils in a match that begged for goals.
Much to the dismay of the fans that flocked to FNB Stadium to witness Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns play to 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon, the match that promised much delivered less with chances fluffed all over the show.
In fact, lack of goals is a tale of woe told by coaches week-in and week-out.
It was the same story in the aftermath of this match which saw the defending champions and the league leaders share the spoils courtesy of goals by Teko Modise and George Lebese.
Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter and Pitso Mosimane were in unison after the match, raising concerns about the technical abilities of their players.
Both men watched helplessly as their players squandered chance after chance during the match. They attributed the poor showings in front of goal to hurried decision-making by players who are in scoring positions.
“There’s very little you can do when a striker gets in the position and doesn’t take his chance,” said Baxter.
Mosimane has been hit the most by the goal drought as his side has scored two goals in their last five matches and says it’s hard to find strikers who can finish superbly in South Africa.
“Those strikers, we call them cleaners,” he said afterwards. “They buy one second in the box and they suppress their nerves and they finish. It’s not easy to find in South Africa.
“Look at the game against Platinum Stars. It’s a 3-0 game but we didn’t score.
“You look at Mpumalanga Black Aces, how many times? But you know the story. It’s the coach who must go,” moaned Mosimane. The former Bafana coach had reason to weep when Sundowns were 1-0 up. Striker Cuthbert Malajila was set up by Modise but instead of calmly looping the ball over keeper Brilliant Khuzwayo he fired over the bar.
“I think if Malajila kept his cool there with the goalkeeper to beat, we would have sealed it because it was the right moment to score the second one,” said Mosimane.
Baxter’s men were out of sorts in the first half and allowed the Brazilains to roam.
“I was really disappointed, especially in the first half. In the second half they got the goal and we woke up,” said Baxter. “We got some intensity in the game. I thought we played quite well and very lively but during that period we still managed some horrific mistakes on the ball. Sundowns were always dangerous because of that.
“We couldn’t translate our period of superiority into goals.”
Prior to the match, Mosimane had been under pressure following a series of undesirable results.
“Like last season, we came here to win. We never sat back. We had the confidence to win the game. I am very disappointed because I think we should have won it.
“Honestly speaking, I am not trying to boast. We played a quality team. I think the quality you saw is Champions League material.
“I think both teams should go to Africa and represent South Africa,” Mosimane concluded.
While Downs will be on a break this week, Chiefs will travel to Polokwane, where they will clash with Polokwane City in a league match tomorrow evening. Baxter says he will ring the changes and rest some of his Bafana contingent.
PUTTING THEIR HEADS TOGETHER: Kaizer Chiefs’ Kingston Nkatha and Alje Schut of Mamelodi Sundowns battle for possession during their lacklustre 1-1 draw in the Premiership at FNB Stadium on Saturday.