Steve Komphela reacts during Saturday's defeat to Arrows. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG - Try as hard as he could to remain calm, Steve Komphela just couldn’t hide his frustration. How could he when his team conceded an injury time goal for the umpteenth time this season, to rob them of valuable points?

And so the Kaizer Chiefs coach, renowned for his ability to put a good spin on issues, let rip. “It is tiring,” he said of his club’s penchant for letting the opposition score with literally the last kick of the match. “It is strenuous.”

The strain was evident at the final whistle of Amakhosi’s 1-1 draw with Golden Arrows at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night, Komphela taking a long sip from his water bottle, while looking onto the pitch with an expression that seemed to say “why us?”.

It had appeared Kaizer Chiefs had kept their slim championship hopes alive when substitute Ryan Moon put them ahead of Golden Arrows with 14 minutes of play remaining. And when the match went deep into the four minutes added on for stoppages, and the ball was in Arrows’ half, it seemed Itumeleng Khune and his teammates would finally bag the maximum points their efforts deserved.

But a seemingly innocuous attack from the left ended up with the ball being delivered deep into the Chiefs box. With the likes of Lorenzo Gordinho, Erick Mathoho and Ramahlwe Mphahlele, tall players, in their rearguard, you’d have expected Chiefs to clear their lines.

But, just as they did against SuperSport United and Cape Town City in their previous two matches, the Glamour Boys went to sleep, allowing Knox Muthizwa to steal a valuable point for Arrows while robbing the home side of two that would have seen them remain in the hunt for the league title.

Now, Bidvest Wits win against Maritzburg United on Siunday has put paid to that championship hope and sentenced Amakhosi to yet another barren season while putting serious question marks on Komphela’s fitness as Chiefs coach.

The fact that conceding such last minute goals has sort of become Chiefs’ trademark this season left Komphela at a loss for words.

“I don’t know how many matches we’ve given away. And looking back at it doesn’t really help. But we’re giving away too many matches," he said.

“It’s the last minute of the match, we should have defended with our lives. We shouldn’t have drawn this mach. We have to learn from this.”

Learn?

If this had been the first time, perhaps he would be right to suggest they need to learn for once can be put down to a mistake, but three successive times suggests something is seriously wrong.

And it is not solely in defence where the failure to stay switched on until the end is obviously a problem.

There is also the fact that Chiefs just don’t seem to be able to kill off matches as a contest, their failure to convert many chances in matches leaving them vulnerable to losing points at the death as has been the case.

“We could have managed the game better. We should not have allowed them to come to our half (that late). But we did and anything could happen, like this disaster.

“It calls for strength and sanity even though you can’t think straight (when such happen),” Komphela said. “But we must take it on the chin and focus on moving forward.”

The big question though is whether Kaizer Motaung and his board will want to move forward with a coach who has been responsible for their club going two successive seasons without silverware for the first time in their history.

The Star

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