Kaizer Chiefs produced another poor performance in the DStv Premiership on Sunday as they were held to a goalless draw by Marumo Gallants.
KAIZER Chiefs produced yet another anaemic performance in a goalless draw against Marumo Gallants in Sunday evening’s DStv Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The goalless stalemate will ensure that the beleaguered Chiefs will remain in a lowly 13th position. Gallants have yet to record a win this season. After four matches, they have yet to score a Premiership goal and remain in 15th position.
Both goalmouths were subjected to early action after the defences struggled to clear their lines with first-time efforts. To compound matters, players in the striking zone were looking to make passes when a direct approach might have yielded reward instead.
Chiefs were particularly guilty in this regard, and Khama Billiat was reluctant to pull the trigger in front of the opposition posts.
Gallants midfielder Katlego Otladisa produced the first-half’s best scoring attempt in the 14th minute with a powerful header but was denied by Chiefs aerobatic goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi who parried the effort after a full-length dive.
Up to around the half-hour mark, Chiefs enjoyed greater possession but made no impact on the game as they lacked cohesion. Passes went astray especially when they made their way towards the final third. By the time the teams changed ends, Chiefs had not managed a single shot on target. In stark contrast, Gallants managed three in the opening stanza.
On the half-hour mark, the Gallants No.10 Celimpilo Ngema, who plays behind the team’s lone striker in an unusual 4-4-1-1 formation, rifled a long-range shot that struck Akpeyi on the chest. Ngema tried his luck again just ahead of the break when Akpeyi was well off his line, but his parting shot ballooned hopelessly wide.
Most of the first-half action was in the areas on both sides of the halfway line.
Towards the end of the first half, Chiefs were playing the percentage game but to no avail. They couldn’t induce a measure of fluency in their playing patterns to set up scoring chances.
Gallants took the initiative when second-half play started, and their pressure earned them a corner five minutes later. However, their set-piece was ineffective, and Chiefs dealt with the threat easily.
Chiefs were equally ineffective at set-piece time, a few minutes later. A close-in free-kick some 15 metres from the Gallants penalty area saw Billiat’s tame strike land safely in the hands of Washington Arubi, Gallants’ Zimbabwean goalkeeper.
Just past the hour mark, Chiefs finally managed some telling sorties deep into the opposition half, and Gallants’ defence were hard-pressed to contain the threat.
There were some promising moves, but it all went pear-shaped after Chiefs were reduced to 10 players in the 76th minute when Sifiso Hlanti collected a second yellow card and was sent off by the referee Philangenkosi Khumalo.
A moment later, Gallants midfielder Thabo Mnyamane rose well to meet a free-kick and managed a powerful shot which Akpeyi pushed out. The ball struck the post and rolled away harmlessly.
Ten minutes from the end, referee Khumalo red-carded Ngema after he kicked the ball into Billiat’s chest after he had taken a tumble after a tackle.
In the final minute, Chiefs squandered two clear-cut scoring chances, but it would have been a travesty of justice if they claimed a hit-and-run win, since Gallants, who enjoyed far more scoring opportunities, were the better side on the day.