Goal-scoring a concern for Chiefs ahead of their big cup final

2010-04-09 00:00

HAVING scored a paltry lone goal in three games en route to the final, putting the ball in the back of the net is a concern for Kaizer Chiefs going into tomorrow night’s Telkom Knockout showpiece game against Ajax Cape Town at King’s Park.

Chiefs have progressed to the final via two penalty shoot-out victories after goalless draws in the first round against Santos in Cape Town and then Monday’s semi-final against Orlando Pirates at Moses Mabhida Stadium. These results sandwiched a 1-0 defeat of Mamelodi Sundowns in a quarter-final in Tshwane.

“It’s a concern that we’re getting into those good positions but are not putting the ball in the back of the net,” Amakhosi assistant coach Donald “Ace” Khuse said in a pre-final press briefing in Durban yesterday.

“It’s something we have been working hard on this week to try and get the boys right and get them to have cooler heads when they get into the big box.

“I think, from what we have instilled in them they will be able to achieve the goal that we have set.”

Despite their inability to score — and Ajax having been in decent form in front of goal, scoring freely to notch up five goals in their 1-0 first-round win over Moroka Swallows, 2-1 quarter-final defeat of Golden Arrows and 2-0 victory over AmaZulu — Chiefs will not be displeased with their form.

In fact, apart from goal-scoring, Amakhosi have played some of their best football of the season under Serbian coach Vladimir Vermezovic in the Telkom. Such was the quality of their build-ups Chiefs should have beaten Sundowns 5-0 and could have wrapped up the Soweto Derby against Pirates in the first half.

With Ajax also in convincing form this should make for an entertaining final.

Ajax have already reached one cup final this season in the MTN8, but in it they were routed 6-0 by Arrows. The Cape side’s assistant coach, Wilfred Mugeyi, does not foresee a repeat of such a humiliation.

“I can assure you it’s not going to happen again,” the former Umtata Bucks striker said. “I think you have to give credit to Arrows — they played a different game than the one we normally know and I think their tactics worked for them.

“We are expecting that Chiefs might try to apply the same tactics and I think we’re ready for anything they throw at us.

“We always set goals for ourselves. We didn’t win the league, and if we didn’t win the league we didn’t do well. So just to pay our supporters and everyone associated with Ajax back, we are going to win this cup for them.”

Ajax will be without star right-wing and one of the best crossers in the country, Sameehg Doutie, who received a third yellow card against AmaZulu and is suspended.

“It’s a big blow to lose Doutie for the final,” Mugeyi said. “But we have got youngsters who are ready to step up and fill his shoes.

“We are not going to change our tactics because the player who will play in that position will do the same thing as what Sameehg did last week [against AmaZulu].”

Khuse said Chiefs want to win a trophy in honour of chairman Kaizer Motaung in the Amakhosi’s 40th anniversary year.

This thought was echoed by Chiefs captain Jimmy Tau.

“We want to win the cup to continue with the proud legacy that the club has had over the 40 years to win trophies,” Tau told the club’s website yesterday.

The final kicks off at 8.15 pm.

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