Kaizer Chiefs coach defends Petersen for howlers

Molefi Ntseki is choosing to see the glass as half-full despite the emptiness from Kaizer Chiefs that is so loud, it could wake up the dead.

Ntseki has the mammoth task of ending the club’s eight-year trophy drought. But his start to his tenure as Chiefs’ coach has been less than ideal. The club struggled to find the back of the net in their high profile preseason matches.

Chiefs have collected just one point from their first two DStv Premiership matches. Amakhosi dropped three points in the 2-1 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday after playing to a goalless draw with Chippa United in their opening game.

The Soweto giant’s goalkeeper, Brandon Petersen, had a hand in both goals on Wednesday. He played a sloppy pass to Edson Castillo that led to Sundowns’ first goal and failed to handle what should have been a routine save in the second, giving the Brazilians maximum points.

But before Petersen’s howler in the dying minutes of the game, the goalkeeper made several saves to keep Amakhosi in the match. And that’s what Ntseki is choosing to focus on, rather than the mistakes that led to the defeat.

“Things like this do happen in football,” said Ntseki.

“If you were to count how many times he came out to save the team, that would nullify the mistakes that led to the goals. Anything that happens in a game of football, it’s a team effort. If we were to look back and try to trace where the first mistake was made, [we would realise that] it’s not only about him letting in the goal but the whole team made a mistake. That’s how we conceded.”

Ntseki, however, admitted that Chiefs didn’t apply themselves tactically in the first half — allowing Sundowns to boss proceedings. Chiefs only looked lively in patches in the second half, but that wasn’t enough to steal a point from the nation’s capital.

The club’s biggest problem is their lethargic attack. Even when they had Sundowns on the ropes after equalising, Chiefs failed to impose themselves and threaten Ronwen Williams. This is an aspect the team needs to work on ahead of their meeting with Cape Town City on Sunday in the MTN8.

The Citizens had the sixth best defensive record in the DStv Premiership last season, a less imposing prospect than the Brazilians who had the stingiest. But City are a tough team to break down, which is why Ntseki chose to focus on the positives from the Sundowns game to build on their quest to bring the glory days back to Naturena.

“The positive from our side, if you look at the structure that we had, it worked out,” Ntseki said.

“We didn’t give them space in between the lines and in the second half we applied more pressure on the ball which led to them making mistakes. The mistakes ended up giving us chances to score.

“The positive from our team is that we stayed in the game despite the fact that we were not playing our normal game. Mentally we were very strong in terms of staying in the game and also defending as a team, which was very important.” –Times


Ronwen Williams (right) of Mamelodi Sundowns gives Brandon Petersen of Kaizer Chiefs a hug after his costly mistake at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria on August 9.

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