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“Fantastic” Parker makes Hunt happy

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The Kaizer Chiefs coach was impressed with the outing of veteran Bernard Parker playing in an unfamiliar role in central midfield

Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker during a training session at headquarters at the Kaizer Chiefs Village in Naturena, Gauteng. Picture: Itumeleng English, African News Agency (ANA) 05.02.201

KAIZER Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt may have endured a frustrating spell with his team in the last few weeks after they failed to win in their last six matches, but he’ll take positives from Amakhosi’s 1-1 draw with SuperSport United on Saturday heading into their clash against Horoya at home this evening.

“I thought we were good. We should have won the game. But we made an unbelievably stupid mistake, pulling the guy in the box and giving a penalty away. But we should have won the game by a comfortable score,” said Hunt.

The coach was impressed with the outing of veteran Bernard Parker. The 34-year-old returned to the starting line-up where he played in an unfamiliar role in central midfield – as he is usually used to playing upfront with the attacking contingent.

“I think Parker was the man of the match today. I thought he was fantastic especially after playing him in the centre of the midfield because we don’t (have players there). He was good. Obviously, we looked to get him in the box but that was not possible,” Hunt said.

The other thing is that though Chiefs have had problems in the goalkeeping department since the start of the season, Hunt retained Itumeleng Khune, following his blunder in their 2-1 loss to AmaZulu last Wednesday.

An interesting decision indeed.

Chiefs may have been written off in their quest to challenge for domestic silverware this season, but they’ll be confident they can still capture a nice chunk of glamour in the Caf Champions League.

However, that will be easier said than done. After finishing second in the Premiership standings last season Chiefs qualified for the Pan-African competition, but they had to go through all the qualifying stages to make the group stage.

Amakhosi defeated PWD Bamenda in the first leg, but the Angolans held Chiefs to a goalless draw at home – although that was enough to send the South Africans to the next round. In that round, Chiefs were drawn against CD Primeiro de Agosto.

Agosto, are regulars in the Champions League. So much so that when Chiefs won the first leg 1-0 away from home through a goal from Leonardo Castro – to win the tie 1-0 on aggregate after a goalless draw in SA – that was Agosto’s first loss at home in the competition.

That win was enough to send Chiefs into the group stage of the Champions League. This is where they were drawn against Wydad AC, Hoyora Athletic Club and Petro de Luanda, another team from Angola – which was Chiefs’ third opponent from the country in the competition after Bameda and Agosto.

Chiefs, though, didn’t play the first match after Wydad and the Royal Moroccan Football Federation postponed the game due to medical restrictions in the country. But Wydad were given until yesterday by Caf to find a new venue for the match or forfeit it and suffer a 2-0 loss.

Amid the debacle, Safa have sent a daring letter to Caf, saying that their domestic and national teams won’t play at neutral venues especially after the north Africans continued to deny SA teams entry to their countries, although they’ll host a handful of events this year.