Lament at lack of top strik­ers

Mosi­mane and Baxter be­moan tech­ni­cal abil­i­ties of their play­ers after stale­mate

The Star Early Edition - - SOCCER - HOSEA RAMPHEKWA

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.

PIC­TURE: GALLO IMAGES

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.

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