NOTHING WRONG, BUT SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT
FOR Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela to run out of words would be unimaginable, although that could happen if the team’s misfortune continues.
So one-sided was their MTN8 quarter-final against SuperSport United in Durban at the weekend that victorious coach Eric Tinkler more than once emphatically conceded that Chiefs were dominant. The Pretoria side won courtesy of a strong finish from striker Jeremy Brockie early in the game on Saturday night, the New Zealander converting their solitary clear opening after quick build-up play from former Chiefs midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
Chiefs controlled the clash and hit the woodwork three times, a situation that left Komphela bemused but determined to forge ahead.
“After the game someone said, ‘nothing is wrong, but just something is not right’. That’s confusing because we did everything right. We played the way Chiefs are supposed to play. Do you fault the players? Not at all,” said Komphela.
“Apart from the defeat I thought we played good football and the supporters must have enjoyed themselves. Yes we created chances, about 12, and we hit the frame three times. I don’t want to accept losing, but under these circumstances we must keep encouraging the kids to continue pushing and playing the way we’re playing. The supporters are getting good football but the results are not coming, and we must own up as athletes and professionals.”
Chiefs caught SuperSport slightly undercooked, because of a shorter off-season due to their CAF club assignments. Nevertheless Amakhosi’s showing was slick, indicating their determination to break out of the two-season trophyless spell under Komphela. Bernard Parker was influential, hitting the woodwork like Siphiwe Tshabalala, and up front Uruguayan striker Gustavo Paez was sprightly, supported by George Maluleka and Hendrick Ekstein in midfield, and by defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele’s touchline forays.
Tinkler said after watching Chiefs in pre-season he expected “an extremely tough 90 minutes”.
“After watching Chiefs against Orlando Pirates you could see the high intensity of football they were playing already, their ability to press high and ability to counterattack. We spent time on our defensive shape and structure and looked to hurt them on the break. We did that for the first 15 minutes and then struggled on the ball.
“They dominated the game, created most of the opportunities, we had one chance and we scored. Chiefs deserved to win when you look at the chances they created, but I take a lot of positives out of the game,” said Tinkler after his first official match in charge of the side.
The teams meet again on August 23 in a league match at FNB Stadium. It will be an opportunity for Chiefs to work on that something which is not right, and register only a second win in eight competitive outings stretching from last season.
By then Komphela would have decided on the Argentinian striker who is on trial at Naturena, and SuperSport will have Thabo Mnyamane back to full fitness to add more on attack.