NOTH­ING WRONG, BUT SOME­THING’S NOT RIGHT

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - KAM­LESH GOSAI

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.

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