Primeiro de Agosto hold wasteful Kaizer Chiefs in CL qualifier at FNB
CAPE TOWN – Wasteful Kaizer Chiefs had to settle for a goalless draw against Primeiro de Agosto in the CAF Champions League first round, first leg match at FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Chiefs managed to dominate, and their coach Gavin Hunt said afterwards his side should have won comfortably had they taken their chances.
He said that if Chiefs manage to repeat this performance in the return leg they will score goals to reach the group stage of the Champions League.
Primeiro enjoyed a bye in the preliminary round and this outing marked their debut in this season's Champions League competition.
In recent seasons, Primeiro have been a dominant force in their country's Premier League and that ensured that they had qualified for the continent's elite competition several times.
The Angolans were awarded a second-minute free-kick 20m out from the Chiefs penalty area but they struck their effort wide of the post.
Chiefs appeared nervous at the start. They overran the ball, miss-timed passes and battled to strike up cohesion as they battled to probe the opposition's defence.
In the opening 20 minutes, Primeiro had limited possession but they posed a danger because of their fast-paced attacks.
Chiefs enjoyed several sorties down the left flank without setting up scoring chances. They settled down after 20 minutes into the game and opted to launch attacks from deep options. Striker Khama Billiat, playing out wide on the left, was prominent in Chiefs' attacks and he managed to score midway through the half, but he was adjudged offside.
Before halftime, Chiefs also enjoyed two close-in free kicks but they too were unable to capitalise. During this time, Chiefs also created two chances, but the strikers were hesitant in the striking zone.
The visiting Angolans produced a strong finish on the stroke of halftime but failed to make a breakthrough and the teams retreated to the change rooms with a goalless scoreline.
Chiefs gained the initiative early in the second half and opted to shoot from outside the penalty area. Adilson Cipriano da Cruz, the Primeiro goalkeeper was kept busy but he was not really tested.
Just past the hour mark, Chiefs forced two corners in quick succession but Primeiro's defence easily dealt with the threat.
On three occasions in the subsequent play, Chiefs did enough to break down the opposing defence but then their scoring attempts were wayward and they came away empty-handed.
Chiefs brought on Bernard Parker and Dumisani Zuma in an effort to beef up their anaemic attack 15 minutes from the end. It did help to exert greater pressure, but Chiefs were unable to exploit as Erick Mathoho and substitute Zuma came close at the death.
The return leg will be played in Angola next year on Tuesday, January 5.
The aggregate winners will advance to the group stage of the Champions League, and the losers will join the Confederation Cup playoffs. Chiefs, in previous years, have failed to qualify for the group stage.