Cape Town - While the Cape Town City player registration cards went bizarrely missing before the clash against Maritzburg United, so too was the glaring absence of quality defending at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The match was played under protest after the Cape Town City manager's car had been broken into prior to the start with the cards being stolen.
City went on win the game 3-2 with the five goals scored more as a result of both teams defensive woes than any killer instinct from the front men as a host of further chances were missed, particularly by the Citizens.
The first defensive lapse was on the part of Maritzburg after a poor back pass by Alfred Ndengane to his goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt that allowed Mduduzi Mdantsane an easy run in on goal.
The chances came thick and plenty after the opener, but neither team could take full advantage until Fagrie Lakay made up for an earlier miss to put City 2-0 ahead in the second half.
But such is City's generosity at the back that there was always a feeling that they would allow Maritzburg back in, and they duly did, when Leletu Skelem halved the deficit with 20 minutes remaining.
And even when City restored their two-goal cushion through Tashreeq Morris on the counter, the game was still not dead and buried yet.
Citizens captain Taariq Fielies ensured there would be high drama until the very end with a basic schoolboy error in the dying minutes to allow Bongokuhule Hlongwane to make it 3-2.
Fortunately for the City players the referee blew full time shortly afterwards as they may have not wanted to go back to the dressing room such was coach Eric Tinkler's anger by then.
"It is disappointing defensively. We are making way too many errors. And that is something we need to rectify. The chances we create is awesome. We have to be putting goals in the back of the net. We can't be missing the chances because we have shown that we are vulnerable at the back," Tinkler said.
"In the first half period I really thought we should have finished off the game with the chances that we had. The only real threat they were giving us was the long ball in behind us with the three players in front looking to make the runs in behind.
"Once we got the second goal it was obviously important for us to get the third and we had chances to get 3, 4, 5 and really kill off the game. We don't take those chances and we get caught, we don't drop behind, and don't drop off early enough, and they get back into the game and the pressure is on us.
"And then it becomes a bun fight and it becomes really difficult because we needed to defend for our lives. Defensively we were poor to brutally honest in that last 20 minutes."
Tinkler will hope that the result stands though after the PSL Executive committee reviews the appeals due to the allegedly stolen cards for it was the Citizens first on-field victory in four matches.