AmaZulu slip up badly in defence

2014-08-29 00:00

AMAZULU coach Craig Rosslee lamented their disastrous defensive display after it contributed towards the latest Premiership setback in the form of a 2-0 home loss at the hands of Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday.

First-half goals from Lerato Lamola and Frank Mhango condemned Usuthu to the bottom of the table in Durban, although they had no one but themselves to blame at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

A mis-hit back pass from Marc van Heerden resulted in the opening goal after 17 minutes, as Lamola rounded Tapuwa Kapini and rolled the ball into an empty net.

“It was a terrible mistake and it knocked the stuffing out of us,” Rosslee said. “That’s a big problem at the moment. We’re trying to be too cute and too clever. I’d rather see the ball lost up the field by a striker rather than playing it like that at the back and losing it.

“We started with a fullback playing at centre-back and it went from one mistake to another. Each defender put the next one under pressure and I think in five minutes they got the goals.

“When you make mistakes of that nature against a team who are organised like Celtic, it’s very difficult to come back.”

The second goal came after easy concession of midfield possession, allowing Mhango to crash in emphatically 10 minutes later.

“We are putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure,” Rosslee said. “I was happy with the first 15 minutes we played, but to make a mistake like that really knocks the wind out of your sail. It was a massive mistake.”

The result and updated table painted a bleak picture for Rosslee’s men after the end of round four.

They are now bottom of the table having managed two draws and two losses from their opening fixtures.

Only one goal has been scored from open play — the other was a penalty — and they have three away matches to come in the next three rounds, starting with a trip to champions Mamelodi Sundowns this week, a fixture that saw them suffer a 7-1 embarrassment last time.

Rosslee felt the biggest problem, however, was not at the back, but rather up front.

“The possible remedy going forward is that we have to score goals,” he said.

“Every training session that we do we are working on our pattern of finishing, how to get into that final third and how to actually finish.

“But when the game is how it was here tonight, the first 10 minutes we were feeling each other out and then after 15 minutes it opened up a bit.

“Once we got past that we could have got into a good rhythm, but the fact is once you make a mistake like that, it affects you.”

The club were also done in the transfer window, with Rosslee confirming “that is it” ahead of the deadline tomorrow evening.

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