IT is a crisis. A goal that should have never stood will probably deflect attention away from the fact that this is a poor Kaizer Chiefs team, and coach Steve Komphela is walking a tight rope.
Yes, chairman Kaizer Motaung is no trigger-happy club owner, but following a winless streak that stretched to three matches so early into the 2016/17 season, his patience must be wearing thin taking into account the disastrous previous campaign in which Amakhosi surrendered their Absa Premiership title and could not win a single trophy.
The boss watched on from the comfortable suites at this venue on Wednesday night, but the performance from Komphela’s men would have been unsettling. Robert N’gambi broke the deadlock in the 21st minute following a long-range attempt that seemed to have ricocheted off the crossbar, but referee Victor Hlungwani believed the ball had gone over the line and past goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune. Replays – and the legion of Chiefs fans with the benefit of replays on their television screens at home – argued the contrary.
Anyway, the goal stood and the Glamour Boys, playing their first home league match of the season, were on the backfoot. It would appear they have started the new term in the same manner they finished the last one: nervy, indecisive and lacking a serious goal poacher when they reached the final third. Their equaliser on the night had to come from midfielder Hendrik Ekstein, a player that has split football fans down the middle with regards to his true potential.
Is he Chiefs material or not? But that is only a footnote in a sorry tale of the club’s misfortunes under Komphela over the past several months.
Amakhosi came into this game with their tails between their legs and their egos incredibly bruised after being bullied to a 2-1 defat by fellow title challengers Bidvest Wits in their opening league match on August 23, an encounter that was followed by another set back three days later away to Cape Town City in the quarter-finals of the MTN8. A solitary goal there was enough to see Chiefs being dumped out of the cup, much to the horror of their supporters.
Speaking of which, the numbers are dwindling at FNB Stadium these days, with the exception of the Soweto Derby when Amakhosi host archrivals Orlando Pirates. The performance here against what is, to be fair, a tricky Platinum Stars outfit, in a way vindicates those who have chosen to stay away from the club’s low category matches. Perhaps the fact that Chiefs had only beaten Dikwena once in their previous five meetings played a small part in a rather gutless display, but this Amakhosi team has been struggling for some time now.
A point is all Chiefs could manage on the night, but there are really more questions than answers for Komphela, who signed 10 new players before the start of the season, getting rid of the bad energy in the team and refreshing a side that simply limped over the finish line in fifth place in May. With this season billed as the toughest yet in the Premier League era, it could, unfortunately, get worse for the Glamour Boys and coach Komphela.
Story by Independet Online