JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs’ bogey run in the Premiership following a brilliant performance in the Nedbank Cup continued on Tuesday, as they could only salvage a 1-1 draw against Golden Arrows at an empty FNB Stadium.
After defeating Cape Town City impressively by 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the cup, Chiefs returned to the league duty and suffered a flat 1-0 defeat to Baroka FC in this venue.
The hoodoo followed them on Tuesday night, as they were 4-2 winners against Chippa United in their quest to book their spot to final of South Africa’s premier club knockout competition against TS Galaxy at Moses Mabhida Stadium on May 18.
Despite the freezing temperature that had engulfed this World Cup venue, both teams started like a house on fire as they played constructive football with ease.
Chiefs, however, had the first clear-cut opportunity to take the lead, only for wing-back Reeve Frosler to fluff his attempt into the empty stands following some great interchanges in Arrows’ final third.
While Chiefs were struggling to put a stamp to that early dominance, Arrows were also struggling upfront – although Sanele Mathenjwa and Siboniso Conco were giving Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya sleepless nights down the left flank.
Frosler, who’s slowly finding his feet at the club following his move from Wits, was presented with an opportunity to make amends for that early miss, but his point-blank effort was easily palmed away for a corner by Maximilian Mbaeva.
That set-piece nearly churned out the goods for Amakhosi as Bernard Parker teed Philani Zulu just outside Arrows’ defensive line, but the latter’s thunderous strike came off the frame of the woodwork.
However, Chiefs’ numerous missed opportunities would come back to haunt them as Abafana Bes’thende would go to the interval having taken a precious lead.
In the 33rd minute, Nduduzo Sibaya found Chiefs’ defence asleep before creating space for himself to strike a delightful curler into Daniel Akpeyi’s top corner.
Bernard Parker, however, should have restored parity for his side just before the break, but he missed the easiest of sitters following a one-on-one duel with Mbaeva, who had made himself big to produce an acrobatic save.
Early into the second stanza, Ernst Middendorp was quick to ring the changes as Ryan Moon entered the field of play for Hendrick Ekstein, who made his return to action following a two-match absence, due to him dragging contract negotiations for a new deal.
However, with the strikers failing to find their scoring boots, it was defensive duo Kgotso Moleko and Daniel Cardoso who took a dig at Mbaeva’s goalposts, but both their attempts came off the woodwork.
With time running out, Moleko would finally find the equaliser as he rose highest in the box to head home from a George Maluleka corner.@Mihlalibaleka