Why Chiefs are on course for their worst ever return in the top-flight
It is no secret where Kaizer Chiefs’ problems have been this Absa Premiership season as they close in on a top four finish despite having one of the worst attacking records in the top division.
With only relegation candidates Platinum Stars (17 goals) and SuperSport United (20) having netted fewer than Chiefs’ 22 goals this season‚ the AmaKhosi are well on course for their worst ever return in the top-flight.
Their previous lowest total was the 32 goals scored in the 2007/08 campaign when they finished sixth‚ and it would take a remarkable upswing in fortunes for them to surge past that mark with games against Lamontville Golden Arrows‚ Maritzburg United and Ajax Cape Town to come.
The saving grace for coach Steve Komphela has been an excellent defence that has conceded only 18 times in their 27 matches‚ but after he hinted at the weekend that his time at Naturena was drawing to a close‚ whoever the new coach is for next season will have to fix the team’s potency at the other end of the pitch.
The fact that league games involving Chiefs this season have only contained 40 goals at either end in those 27 matches has hardly made them compelling viewing.
Komphela is an astute coach and he knows all too well that the profligacy in front of goal has cost Chiefs a potential shot at the title.
"The table never lies‚ we are well organised defensively‚ but that doesn't mean that we play defensively. We have a lot of attacking players in the side‚” he said last month.
"Out of the 12 draws‚ eight finished in 0-0. That means that if we scored once‚ we would have won. We should have won many of these games as we created many chances. Our lack of goals has hindered our progress."
The low total is also well shy of where Chiefs have ended up in Komphela’s previous two seasons‚ when they scored 38 and then 39 goals.
Twelve players have found the back of the net in the league‚ but only six of those have managed to score twice all campaign.
Ryan Moon (four goals) is the leading marksman‚ followed by Siphiwe Tshabalala and Gustavo Paez (both three). Dumisani Zuma‚ Bernard Parker and Leonardo Castro are the only other places with more than one goal.
No Chiefs player has scored more than seven goals in a single season since Bernard Parker won the Golden Boot with a shockingly low 10 goals in the 2013/14 campaign.
KAIZER CHIEFS’ GOALS TOTAL IN A 30-GAME ABSA PREMIERSHIP SEASON
2002/03 - 42
2003/04 - 39
2004/05 - 55
2005/06 - 39
2006/07 - 42
2007/08 - 32
2008/09 - 37
2009/10 - 39
2010/11 - 45
2011/12 - 35
2012/13 - 48
2013/14 - 43
2014/15 - 41
2015/16 - 38
2016/17 - 39
2017/18 - 22*
*Three games remaining