DURBAN – Kaizer Chiefs and consistency are not good friends, as they were held 0-0 by Chippa United in a Premiership tussle at an empty Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.
Amakhosi, who played their last match in KZN behind closed doors following a PSL disciplinary sanction, were looking to make it three out of three across all competitions, following victories against SuperSport United and Black Leopards.
Consistency has been their biggest enemy this season. In their two home matches at Moses Mabhida, Chiefs, have only collected one point. They succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Polokwane City in their first game at the iconic venue.
Amakhosi lost possession easily in the early stages of the game. They failed to gain rhythm as their play lacked fluidity in the attacking third.
Chiefs’ defence were found wanting again. Kurt Lentjies was given acres of space at the edge of the box and he found Lerato Manzini, who missed a sitter on 25 minutes.
Manzini should have punished Amakhosi, but passed it to Itumeleng Khune between the sticks, and Chiefs survived.
The Soweto Giants have been fragile and vulnerable at the back this season. It has been their story of the season, and they were lucky to escape from Manzini’s attempt.
Lentjies was the menace for the Chiefs defence with his good movement, swift passing and his ability to read the game with aplomb.
Chiefs finished the first half with confidence, though, as Daniel Akpeyi denied George Maluleka with an acrobatic save before the interval.
Amakhosi orchestrated a lovely move, but it wasn’t to be as Akpeyi was alert and kept his side in the game.
Both benches made changes after the interval. Giovanni Solinas introduced Daniel Cardoso for the injured Mario Booysen, while Eric Tinkler sacrificed Tercious Malepe and brought in Miquel Timm.
After the interval, Thabo Rakhale shot wide after he was put through by Lentjies for Chippa when it was easier to score than miss.
Let’s be honest it was a close Game 🔥🔥
Full Time score
Chilli boys 0 : 0 Kaizer Chiefs pic.twitter.com/cDqHYdtPVH
Moments later, Chippa penetrated that fragile Chiefs defence with ease, but Manzini was wasteful again.
That proved to be his last effort of the match, and he made way for Rhulani Manzini.
Khama Billiat was isolated upfront and more of a spectator, and failed to make a telling contribution.
Solinas made strange substitutions. Billiat and Leonardo Castro lacked supply, and the coach should have introduced the creative Siphelele Ntshangase for the ineffective Maluleka.
Instead, he brought in Ryan Moon in place of Hendrick ‘Pule’ Ekstein, but Moon hardly touched the ball.