Kaizer Chiefs and their new caretaker coaching duo have their work cut out achieving their target of second place in the Premier Soccer League after they were beaten 2-1 by Lamontville Golden Arrows on Wednesday.
Chiefs showed glimpses of the creative football caretakers Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard want to instil in the post-Stuart Baxter Amakhosi as they edged the first half at Princess Magogo Stadium in Durban. Chiefs took a 1-0 lead into the break thanks to Khama Billiat’s 18th-minute strike.
But Arrows stepped up in the second half as Chiefs lost their way.
The KwaZulu-Natal club fought back through goals by substitutes Siboniso Conco in the 60th and Michael Boy Gumede in the 87th minutes.
Chiefs, who remain in fourth place, were unable to capitalise on their lead and there were question marks on their second-half defensive organisation, with centreback Njabulo Ngcobo notably low in confidence.
Arrows are also under the stewardship of interim coaches since the firing of Lehlohonolo Seema. Vusumuzi Vilakazi and Mabuthi Khenyeza would have taken some satisfaction from a win that saw their side make strides towards a top eight finish, as they pushed up to ninth
Zwane had said after his and Sheppard’s caretaker tenure started with a 1-0 defeat away to Stellenbosch FC on Saturday that Chiefs fear losing the ball, and need to be braver in expression and creativity.
In the opening half there were glimpses of such ambitions, but with greater penetration to provide more of an end product lacking.
Chiefs took the early lead through a fine movement out of their box. Leonardo Castro was found in space on the right to cut in and dink a delightful pass between two defenders for the run of Billiat, who smacked a finish past goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana.
Game management with a lead is a crucial aspect of modern football. Arrows were always going to come out from the break pushing for an equaliser. Given that threat, Chiefs sat back far too much and were unconvincing absorbing the Durban side’s pressure.
Arrows scored a deserved equaliser when Ngcobo gave the ball away outside his box to gift Conco a clear run on goal and low finish past Brandon Petersen.
With the clock winding down Arrows earned a free-kick to the right of the box, which was whipped in by Nduduzo Sibiya, Gumede sneaking in to head a finish at the near post.
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