Kaizer Chiefs lost to a poor team – Stuart Baxter

2014-04-21 15:31

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Coach Stuart Baxter said Kaizer Chiefs had lost to “a poor team” after a 2-1 defeat in their first leg Caf Confederations Cup tie against the Ivory Coast’s Asec Mimosas at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.

Baxter admitted that the defending Premier League champions had lacked sparkle and looked listless at times yesterday.

“We dominated play territorially and should still have won the game,” Baxter said.

The Chiefs coach also defended his policy of leaving out a handful of first team regulars against the methodical and composed Ivorians.

“We are going through a gruelling, traumatic period in which we are competing for honours in three different events at the same time,” he said.

“It’s understandably a tough test for the players, both from a physical and mental point of view and there are times when it is simply advisable that players are rested.

“We now face the prospect of tough encounters against Wits University in both the Premier League and the semifinal of the Nedbank Cup in a short space of time, in addition to travelling to the Ivory Coast for the second leg encounter against Mimosas.”

Under pressure, Chiefs once more came face-to-face with the realities of competing in Caf’s continental tournaments.

Amakhosi must now travel to Abidjan for the second leg with Asec not only enjoying home advantage but having scored two crucial away goals.

“That is the reality of the situation but we are not lessening our resolve to succeed,” Baxter said.

“I know my players will fight to the end and I’m confident we will come out of this ordeal with something to show for it.”

Amakhosi trailed 1-0 for much of the match against Asec after the visitors’ captain Eurand Zagbayou opened the scoring in the 36th minute.

They appeared to have salvaged a draw when Matthew Rusike equalised with a powerful angled shot in the 87th minute.

But Chiefs’ joy was short-lived, with an opportunist Asec taking advantage of slack Amakhosi defending to regain the lead in the final minutes when the unmarked Boauh guided the ball into an undefended net.

It was a lacklustre performance from Chiefs and gave an indication as to why Mamelodi Sundowns have overtaken them at the head of the Premier Soccer League championship log despite the Pretoria giants having two games in hand.

The match statistics reflected the pattern of play, with Chiefs enjoying 60% possession, but the visitors had almost twice as many shots on target, which saw them gain a disciplined, deserved victory.

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