JOHANNESBURG - Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela was adamant last week that the club was in no rush in their search for a forward when asked how close the Glamour Boys were to adding one to their 2016-17 roster.
But following their elimination by Bidvest Wits in the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout at the weekend - a game that Chiefs dominated in terms of possession in the second half, but let down by their finishing - Komphela now has to rethink.
“I thought we could have at least had an equaliser,” the coach lamented Saturday’s 1-0 loss which meant he was still without a trophy since arriving at Chiefs three seasons ago. Wits relied on one of their forwards - James Keene - for the winning goal that sends them to yet another final.
Gustavo Paez and Dumisani Zuma were the main culprits as Amakhosi showed great character to put Wits under pressure despite having had midfielder Wiseman Meyiwa sent off in the first half.
“Listen, you could have had the best striker on the pitch, but if it’s not your day it’s not your day,” Komphela continued. “Zuma was twice in a scoring position.
"Paez as well, there’s one ball, which I thought he could have chipped over to find (Siphiwe) Tshabalala. All these are reasons, but we had opportunities to equalise.”
The Chiefs coach had said earlier last week that the club had felt no pressure to get another striker on their books.
Now that the January window is approaching, perhaps Komphela will plead with management to speed up the search.
He now only has the Premier League and the Nedbank Cup much later in the season to target as a last chance to get his first major trophy at Chiefs.
“It’s sad. You would want to finally come out of this situation,” said Komphela, who reached two cup finals in his first season as Amakhosi coach, but lost both.
“We just need to be more objective and look at what it is that we did wrong, including the fact that we missed so many opportunities. The essence of a champion is not falling, the concern should be the rise.”
Chiefs fans did not seem that dissatisfied with missing out on another piece of silverware after the match. Perhaps seeing their team come out the better side in the second half, even though Meyiwa had been sent off, they had a bit of sympathy for Komphela.
“We have so much respect for them, and I am sure they saw the amount of effort the players put in, more especially in the second half,” the coach said. “It was just unfortunate. You ask yourself whether they were silent because they saw what transpired or are they still feeling the pain.
"We don’t want to see our people going home without a victory. It was possible to win this match even with a man down, with respect to Wits. They didn’t pose too much of a threat. We should have won, but it happens.”