Durban - Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has admitted that his side was lucky to escape with a point following their 1-1 draw with AmaZulu at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Bongi Ntuli scored deep into the second half for Usuthu to cancel out Keagan Buchanan’s first-half own goal and earn the Kwa-Zulu Natal-based side an away draw.
“I thought we were good for about 15-20 minutes and then we switched off. We had good control of the game but then switched off and AmaZulu got back into the game in the last 15-20 minutes of the first half where they were threatening without being really dangerous,” said the Englishman.
Chiefs were helped by the fact that AmaZulu were not capitalizing on their attacking passages of play as they struggled to get men up the field. Baxter admitted in his post-match comments that his side was lucky to have not lost the game by a big margin.
“In the second half we wanted to get the ball more. That led to us losing structure. The red card (to Cole Alexander) put us against the wall and we conceded what was a very poor goal. Through the whole of the second half our decision-making was very poor. If I was Benni (McCarthy), I would be going mental that they didn’t put us to the sword by three or four goals as I thought we were that bad,” said Baxter.
The discipline in the game from both teams was poor as no less than nine yellow cards and two red cards were handed in the game. Each side ended the contest with ten men after Samkelo Mgwazela joined Alexander in receiving his marching orders deep into the second half. Despite this Baxter still felt that the referee was too lenient in terms of handing out bookings.
“The referee set a precedent in the first half when one of the players went in over the top of the ball in front of me. He gave the free-kick and saw the incident but warned him instead of giving him a yellow card. Five minutes later, the guy pulls the player back which was clear sabotage and did not get a yellow card,” said Baxter.
By drawing to AmaZulu, Chiefs missed the opportunity to move to as high as second in the log after second-placed Stellenbosch FC’s remarkable unbeaten run was ended with a 3-0 defeat to Orlando Pirates.