June 21, 2021

‘It doesn’t look good’ – Kaizer Chiefs’ Hunt blames defenders after Mamelodi Sundowns defeat

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A combination of goalkeeping errors and what appears to be a jittery defence saw Amakhosi fall heavily to the Brazilians

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin has conceded that the biggest “problem” in his team is their defence as his side went down 3-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns in Saturday’s Premier Soccer League opener at FNB Stadium.

In his first league match in charge of Chiefs, Hunt started the centre-back pairing of Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Daniel Cardoso, while Reeve Frosler and Yagan Sasman operated as wingbacks, with Willard Katsande the defensive linkman.

The Amakhosi coach could be increasingly worried about his backline as Chiefs have now conceded four goals in two matches following a 2-1 MTN8 win over Maritzburg United the previous weekend.

Against Sundowns, the Chiefs defence let Peter Shalulile head home the Brazilians’ opener from a corner kick, before allowing Kermit Erasmus a free shot inside the box with four defenders in front of him to make it 2-0.

Itumeleng Khune, on the other hand, came off his line more often and almost gifted Sundowns a goal but had to thank Mphahlele for desperately clearing Shalulile’s goal-bound lob.

It was Khune’s ill-timed intervention which brought down George Maluleka inside the box and saw Themba Zwane converting the resultant penalty to complete a woeful afternoon for Amakhosi.

Hunt, whose team are banned by Fifa from signing players, also highlighted the huge gap in quality between his side and Sundowns as having cost his side.

“It doesn’t look good obviously. If you look at the whole game we had some good opportunities ourselves,” Hunt told SuperSport TV.

“But we have to defend better if we know where the problems are. I know the problems from day one. But it is what it is. We ended up with six academy boys on the field. We have to start building, we have to start somewhere planning against a team that has invested very heavily in their squad.

“As you can see, just look at their bench and that’s what you are up against. So we just have to dust ourselves off and go again. I think we created some good opportunities but as I said, defensively-wise, we leave a lot to be desired.”

Chiefs visit Chippa United for their next match on Tuesday as they seek to recover from the Downs setback.

As for Sundowns, the coaching trio of Manqoba Mngqithi, Rhulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela shook off the criticism from the previous weekend’s MTN8 elimination by Bloemfontein Celtic.

Despite a convincing display against Chiefs, Mngqithi feels they could have won by a wider margin as he demanded more from his charges.

“One is just happy to have kept a clean sheet first. Though in some moments we looked like we wanted to give them something,” Mngqithi said.

“But I also believe we could have scored more goals. We missed far too many chances. At times in football when the game allows you to score more you should score more because you don’t know what is going to happen next.

“But the game was a little bit scrappy. It was never really smooth as one would have wanted especially when you have taken a comfortable lead you expect to have a little bit of better possession, a little bit better penetration.

“But we played in patches and we still have to really improve in that regard because our personality as a big team we should be trying to dominate games and not only look for goals but also to dominate possession, to dominate duels, to dominate penetration and to just dominate the field in general in terms of our width and depth.

“From time to time I felt we did a lot right especially in the first half. Structurally we made it difficult for them to identify what we were trying to do. It caused a lot of confusion on Parker and Reeve Frosler. They couldn’t find Themba Zwane. It made our lives a little bit better. But I don’t think we were clinical enough.”

Sundowns now prepare to host Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in Pretoria in their next match on Wednesday.