Chiefs suffer 2-1 defeat to Asec

2014-04-20 18:20

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Kaizer Chiefs again came face-to-face with the realities of competing in Caf's continental tournaments while going down 2-1 to the Ivory Coast's Asec Mimosas in a first-leg Confederations Cup match at the Dobsonville Stadium.

Chiefs, who are also defending their Premier League and Nedbank Cup titles in a frantic run-in to the season, must now travel to Abidjan for the second leg with Asec not only having home advantage but also boosted by having scored two away goals.

Chiefs were also recently booted out of the Caf Champions League before the round robin stage of the competition by the DRC's AS Vita.

This came despite a proclaimed boast to equal or better Orlando Pirates' achievement of reaching the final in the previous edition of the event.

The Amakhosi trailed 1-0 for much of the match against Asec this afternoon, after captain Eurand Zagbayou opened the score in the 36th minute, but they appeared to have salvaged a draw when Matthew Rusike equalised with a powerful, well-placed angled shot in the 87th minute.

But Chiefs' joy and that of their supporters in a poorly-supported crowd for the occasion was short-lived.

An opportunist Asec took advantage of slack Amakhosi defending to regain the lead in the final minutes, when the unmarked Boua Koffi Davy guided the ball into an open net.

It was not clear whether Chiefs had underrated their opponents or the importance of the competition, but they rested a number of their key players, presumably in view of the tough battles that lie ahead in defending their domestic titles.

Whatever the case, it was a lacklustre performance from the Amakhosi and reflected why Mamelodi Sundowns have overtaken them at the head of the Premiership log.

Asec, in contrast, demonstrated from the kick-off that they meant business with Stevens Koffi 20-metre shot skidding only centimetres wide of the post.

In a rare moment when Chiefs threatened danger, a snap shot from George Lebese in the 28th minute was well-blocked by Asec goalkeeper Sangare Bodra.

Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter rang the changes in the second half and brought on some of their first-choice regulars like bustling Kingston Nkhatha.

But it failed to ignite the Amakhosi and Rusike's equaliser came as something of a splendid shot out of the blue.

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