Johannesburg – Having returned to winning ways in the Premiership on Saturday, coach Stuart Baxter believes Kaizer Chiefs are struggling to piece together a full 90 minutes of consistent soccer.
The Soweto giants looked comfortable as they disposed of Maritzburg United thanks to goals from Knowledge Musona and second half replacement George Lebese at FNB Stadium, but Baxter felt the home side could have walked away with even more goals.
“In the first 35 minutes of the first half, we played some outstanding football,” Baxter said after Chiefs' second win of the season.
“Then it was about playing against a compact defence and picking our way through with movement and passing.
“I thought the players did really well. Then when we went 1-0 up, they switched off and allowed a couple of chances in the last 10 minutes of the first half.
“When we got the second goal, I thought if we had got an earlier second goal, we could have run away with.”
On the back of a humbling 3-1 defeat to SuperSport United in their last league outing, Chiefs found themselves in more familiar territory courtesy of Musona's opener in the 37th minute, followed by Lebese's strike that ended the contest 15 minutes from time.
Musona scored his first goal of the season, having failed in front of goal in his first three outings for the Soweto side, leaving Baxter hopeful that more is to come from his striker.
“Knowledge has been looking sharper in training,” Baxter said of the Zimbabwean international.
“He scored a goal for us in a friendly game against Black Aces. He went away and scored with the national team and he scored in training.
“That performance tonight was as a result of that, so he looks as though he has landed.”
But Baxter said Chiefs would need to work on the mental side of their game.
“We went in and said that we needed to re-focus. We didn't.
“We came out and we needed 10 minutes to get back into rhythm and then that period became about hitting people on transitions.
“But it's not that easy in football, is it? You've got another team on the other side of the field.”
Meanwhile, United boss Ernst Middendorp said the performance of his goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters was one of the few positives he could take from the disappointing defeat.
Walters was named man-of-the-match for his outstanding showing, despite conceding twice, and was instrumental in thwarting Chiefs' frontmen.
“A fully deserved win for Kaizer Chiefs,” Middendorp said.
“We had a little moment where I was thinking we were coming into the game, before we conceded the second goal out of an advantage
“It was a good performance from our goalkeeper, it was only 2-0
and that's fine, it's okay.”
In Saturday's other results, the University of Pretoria claimed their first win of the season, beating Bloemfontein Celtic 2-0 in Pretoria, before AmaZulu managed a narrow 1-0 victory over Moroka Swallow at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Free State Stars and Platinum Stars ended their duel in a goalless stalemate. – Sapa