Chants of 'Steve must go' grow as Kaizer Chiefs go down to SuperSport

23 August 2017 - 21:43 By MARC STRYDOM at FNB Stadium
Referee Daniel Bennett gives Erick Mathoho a red card during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United at FNB Stadium on August 23, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Referee Daniel Bennett gives Erick Mathoho a red card during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United at FNB Stadium on August 23, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Three games for Kaizer Chiefs in 2017-18, no win, and a lot of convincing to do for coach Steve Komphela after Wednesday night's 2-1, 10-man Absa Premiership defeat against SuperSport United at FNB Stadium.

And, predictably, chants in the stands of "Steve must go!"

Aubrey Modiba in the 14th minute and Bradley Grobler seconds into first-half injury time profited from SuperSport’s slick first 45 minutes and a dire one for Chiefs, beginning with Mulomowandau Mathoho’s seventh-minute dismissal.

Gustavo Paez pulled one back in the 66th as Amakhosi regained some composure in the second half. But all too fleetingly, and with too much of an uphill task recovering from a numerical advantage against such sturdy opponents.

The game though, was largely decided in what was, frankly, an abortion of a first half from Chiefs. All round.

Mathoho’s sending-off in the seventh minute, clattering down Bradley Grobler on the edge of the area, who would have been through alone, was the worst possible start.

But it also reflected that from the beginning Chiefs were exposed at the back.

And the decisions from the bench aimed at rectifying the situation were so poor they made it worse.

Komphela waited a full seven minutes, until after SuperSport scored, to react with a substitution. In the meantime, Dove Wome’s cross from the right picked out Modiba free at the far post for an easy header past Brilliant Khuzwayo.

It was only after Bradley Grobler was teed up on the edge of the area to shoot hard at Khuzwayo that Chiefs managed a substitution, and it was a mystifying one.

Daniel Cardoso came on for Lorenzo Gordinho in a centreback swap that surely resolved very little, other than the latter having had a shaky start.

Instead of packing his midfield to make life difficult for SuperSport’s superior numbers, Komphela moved Willard Katsande, seemingly one man who could have saved the game for him there, back to centreback, where the Zimbabwean’s contribution could only be minimal. If felt a little like gifting the rest of a game already on a slide to the Pretoria team.

And predictably, from there the slide continued.

SuperSport should have had more goals before Grobler beat offside in the 41st to Teboho Mokoena’s pass and finished with another strong shot, via a weak touch by Khuzwayo.

Before that Hendrick Ekstein had to clear spectacularly off the line after a collision between Khuzwayo and Tsepo Masilela that saw the Chiefs left-back limp off, replaced by debutant Philani Zulu as Amakhosi’s night just got worse.

By the break SuperSport had a two-goal lead, one-man advantage and all three substitutes to me made, to Chiefs’ one.

Chiefs tried to fight their way back in the second half. If anyone could influence that, it was Siphiwe Tshabalala, who forced a one-handed save from Ronwen Williams in the 61st.

SuperSport inadvisably sat back.

Three minutes later there was some hope for Amakhosi. Ramahlwe Mphahlele’s cross from the left found the header back in of Tshabalala, picking out Paez in the middle to chest and scoop a finish past Williams.

Amakhosi had regained their composure and were turning on the skill that their combination clearly possesses.

The fizz, though, only lasted a brief few minutes before the cooldrink went flat again.

Other PSL midweek results:

Tuesday 22 August:Mamelodi Sundowns 1 - 2 Polokwane CityBaroka FC 1 - 1 Orlando PiratesChippa United 2 - 0 AmaZulu 

Wednesday 23 August:Kaizer Chiefs 1 - 2 SuperSport UnitedFree State Stars 2 - 2 Bidvest WitsCape Town City 3 - 1 Platinum StarsMaritzburg United 2 - 0 Ajax Cape TownGolden Arrows 1 - 1 Bloemfontein Celtic 

- TimesLIVE