Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

OPINION – Kaizer Chiefs show practice doesn’t make perfect

Chiefs' attack needs to fire more consistently.

Kaizer Chiefs had a long time during the Africa Cup of Nations to work on any flaws that held them back in the first part of the campaign.

One of these must have been finishing, with a mere 16 goals in 16 games simply not good enough heading into the AFCON break.

The break came at a good time, in theory, for interim head coach Cavin Johnson, who was able to have a sort of mid-season pre-season with Amakhosi, having being thrown straight into the proverbial fire after Molefi Ntseki was sacked.

Johnson also had all-but one of his squad to work with, with only Mozambican international Edmilson Dove away at the AFCON. Any expectation that Chiefs would come back in February with their attacking knives sharpened, however, was put to bed on Sunday, as they drew a blank in a goalless draw with Royal AM.

Missed opportunities

Chiefs created enough opportunities to grab the three points, but with forward Ashley Du Preez the main culprit, they failed to make the most of them. Johnson seemed slightly bemused after the game, unhappy with the way his team had played, and indicating that this was not what he had seen in training.

Undoubtedly Royal AM ‘keeper Hugo Nyame had an excellent game, and was duly named Man-of-the-Match at the Harry Gwala Stadium. But Du Preez should really have taken the two clear one-on-one opportunities he had against the Cameroonian shot-stopper.

Chiefs have expressed an ambition to play in continental football next season, but if they are to achieve this, via their league position or by winning the Nedbank Cup, Johnson’s side will need to drastically pick up their performance in front of goal.

Their defence remains relatively solid, but if the old adage that clean sheets make it easier for you to win matches is to consistently hold, Chiefs’ attack needs to fire more consistently.