Draws galore in Absa Premiership: Epidemic or addiction?

Frustrated Wits coach Gavin Hunt (Gallo Images)
Frustrated Wits coach Gavin Hunt (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - It is an unlikely phenomenon that would not be out of place among Ripley's "Believe it or Not" pronouncements.

But, believe it or not, 12 of the last14 games in the Absa Premiership over the past two weeks have ended inconclusively as draws.

And, in the immediate past weekend, a succession of six drawn games was only halted by Orlando Pirates barely securing a 1-0 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic.

What might, in the circumstances, be termed "draws galore" has emerged as a disquieting  statistic on the PSL's landscape, with approximately 43% of all matches this season ending in such stalemates.

At the same time, the number of goals overall have decreased to an average of less than two per game in a drought akin to the parched Western Cape’s arid territories.

There can be no doubt these anomalies are inter-twined and are equally disturbing.

Platinum Stars, for example, have managed to score only five times in their 11 matches, Golden Arrows eight draws from 12 games and Maritzburg United have five goals to their credit from nine games.

But even more incredulous is that defending champions Bidvest Wits have produced a mere six scoring efforts in 10 matches, while sliding to the bottom position in the log table.

At the same time, a general levelling of teams has enabled such unlikely candidates as Baroka FC and Arrows emerging among the top title contenders.

Significant too in suffering from the dearth of goals as much as anyone  are the long-time favourites Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, renowned for their  attractive, goal-scoring prowess who have seemingly lost their way in attempting to guide the ball into the net.

"Clubs seem more interested in avoiding defeat than winning matches," is the assessment of one official.

Also some deplorable and timid finishing - which has siphoned though to Bafana Bafana at international level - is credited to players not spending more time brushing up their scoring prowess with dedicated practicing.

And the question of a lack of temperament may also be a factor in a mere 162 goals emerging from the last 85 PSL matches.

As for draws, 36 of these games have finished with the teams on level terms and goals at a premium.

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Tue 03 Nov 20 19:30 PM (SAST)
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