Cavin Johnson: Many challenges from TS Galaxy game that Kaizer Chiefs won’t talk about

Reserve goalkeeper Brandon Petersen (centre) protested a late offside call against Kaizer Chiefs, and was sent off. Photo: BackpagePix

Reserve goalkeeper Brandon Petersen (centre) protested a late offside call against Kaizer Chiefs, and was sent off. Photo: BackpagePix

Published May 9, 2024


Strange as it may seem to many, Kaizer Chiefs had reason to celebrate the point they gained from their 2-2 DStv Premiership draw against TS Galaxy at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday night.

For the second game running, the Amakhosi were reduced to 10 men just before the half-time break when Edmilson Dove got marching orders for an over-the-top tackle on Galaxy’s two-goal hero, Sphiwe Mahlangu.

But unlike against Mamelodi Sundowns, when they capitulated like a house of cards in the second half to lose 5-1 at the FNB Stadium last Thursday, this time Chiefs did well to hold their own.

They actually went ahead shortly after half-time, Ranga Chivaviro completing his brace. That they allowed the visitors an equaliser spoke to their inability to put into practice what they’d worked on during training.

Disappointed as he was by that failure, coach Cavin Johnson lauded his team’s effort, while lamenting the officiating which has now become a post-match song of just about every coach in the country’s elite league.

“Again we get a red card, for the reasons I still have to look at,” Johnson told the media in his post-match interview.

“We played three quarters of the game again with 10 men. We learnt our lessons from last week, but we had a lot of challenges.

“The decisions made against us ... Many, many challenges (that) we will not talk about.

“But just for you to know that we had a lot of challenges in the last few games that Chiefs have to play.”

While it all sounded like a man who failed to deliver a victory looking for excuses, Johnson had a point, particularly with regards to a decision late in the second half, which led to substitute goalkeeper Brandon Petersen being sent off from the bench.

An attack by Chiefs on the left side of the field rsulted in Pule Mmodi ending up with possession and looking to make a run on goal in search of what would have no doubt been the winner.

But the winger’s attack was cut short by referee Cedric Muvhali’s whistle for offside.

Yet Mmodi could not have been offside, given that the ball had been passed to him by a Galaxy player.

Incensed by the decision, the Chiefs bench rose up in unison to protest, and in the process, Petersen saw red.

“I did not see the other tackle,” he said of Dove’s sending off.

“Actually, I did not even realise that it was a red card. But I can defend Brandon. I did not hear any foul language, no. The foul that he jumps up for, the referee gives offside but there’s no way my player can be offside.

“That (Galaxy) player actually kicks the ball over his head into Pule Mmodi’s way, and Pule keeps running – but the referee blows for offside.”

Such decisions prove costly, and for the Amakhosi, it robbed them of two precious points that would have enhanced their chances of finishing in the top eight.

They were in the eighth spot prior to last night’s matches, with three games left to complete the season.

And while he described himself as loath to criticise the match officials, Johnson said that just as the coaches review their matches and show their players where they went wrong and how they can make improvements, the same has to be done for the middlemen and their assistants.

“It’s very difficult to criticise someone after the game, because they are also human like us,” he said.

“But we need to show them like we show our players where they have gone wrong.

“We need to take the officiating to another level – ask them (referees) to explain (why they made the decisions they made), and maybe that will help take them to another level.”

In the meantime, he is hoping that two-goal hero Chivaviro will double up on his goals next time around to help take Chiefs to a winning level when they visit AmaZulu on Sunday.