Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane has identified the one big problem that needs urgent fixing as Amakhosi prepare for the sink or swim MTN8 semifinal, second leg tie against AmaZulu on Sunday afternoon.
“Our downfall at the moment is that we can’t keep a clean sheet. When we get that one right then we will know we are on the right track. We are just conceding goals there is no doubt about the effort the boys are putting in out there. We have showed that we are Chiefs with our performances,” he said.
Looking at the Kaizer Chiefs results, Zwane’s assessment of Amakhosi’s undoing is correct. The last time the Soweto giants kept a clean sheet was four games ago, ironically against Usuthu, the team they face on Sunday. Chiefs were held to a goalless draw in that match.
Since then the defense has been leaking goals, even when they have the advantage of the lead as they did in their 2-1 loss to Chippa United last weekend. It was again the same old story of failing to kill off the game when they drew 2-2 with TS Galaxy on Wednesday.
The Gold and Black half of Soweto were handed the best possible start when Ashley Du Preez gave them an early lead, but a lapse in concentration in defense allowed the Rockets to strike back and take control of the game with goals from Chiefs’ former captain Bernard Parker and a Djakaridja Traore goal. Keagan Dolly saved Zwane’s charges the blushes with a spectacular free kick that forced a 2-2 draw.
The goals are coming and Chiefs are playing beautiful football at times, but it is Chiefs that have followers of the Soweto giants worried going into the MTN8 semifinal, against a resurgent Usuthu with the aggregate at 1-1.
Being a second leg, it is a winner takes all.
Zwane has not ruled out giving defender Thabani Dube a chance. The tall centre back has not featured this season. The trusted twin pillars of Njabulo Ngcobo and Zitha Kwinika have failed to solve the defensive frailties of the Glamour Boys. Zwane has also tried Edmilson Dove and Siyabonga Ngezana with the same leaky results haunting Chiefs.
New AmaZulu coach Romain Folz also has his own defensive problems to worry about after the suspension of Tercious Malepe. The big defender was sent off in the 1-1 draw against Maritzburg United on Wednesday.
Still, Usuthu will fancy their chances at their Moses Mabhida Stadium home ground on Sunday.
Kick off is at 3.30pm.