Soccer

Baxter: Never-say-die Kaizer Chiefs refused to lose against AmaZulu

The Soweto giants needed a late penalty courtesy of Keagan Dolly to salvage a crucial point against Usuthu on Saturday

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter has praised his players for putting up a brave fight to snatch a 1-1 draw against AmaZulu in their Premier Soccer League match on Saturday.

Amakhosi appeared to head for another defeat after they had gone down to a 48th-minute goal courtesy of Luvuyo Memela, but they managed to salvage a point on the stroke of full-time when Keagan Dolly converted from the penalty spot.

Speaking after the game at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium in Durban, Baxter praised his players for the never-say-die attitude which saw them grind out a vital point from the fixture.

‘Chiefs refused to get beat’

“We refused to get beat. I think as I say the ten percent if we can improve the critical phases that decide games of football. You know we played the good football to get someone in; you’ve got to bury that,” Baxter told SuperSport TV after the game.

“We can’t open the second half like I said critical phase, don’t open up too much and we open ourselves massively, make a mistake and they score. We can’t do that. That’s not a recipe for winning football. There’s a lot that needs to change to make it a recipe for winning football.

“The boys are working very hard. And I hope the supporters make sure they support them in that. We need to try to make something last a long time, not just get a lucky win, and then everybody’s happy and you can have a drink at the weekend.”

AmaZulu vs Kaizer Chiefs.

On the overall outcome of the game, Baxter said: “Very good game of football I thought.

“Intense. Pitch was a little bit slippery and slick when it’s wet so a lot of first touches are going away and then that means there are a lot of tackles that you’re tempted into and then you get free kicks given against you.

“I thought both teams kept going on. Difficult match to officiate. But that’s up to us, We were professional, we kept going on. I think that both of the teams did a very good job at it.”

‘Chiefs used to missed chances’

On Chiefs’ missed chances, Baxter explained: “We’re used to it. We said at half-time we’ve got to change. That ten percent would have a massive impact on our season. We played away against Sundowns, played well, dominated large periods of the game but lost.

“And today [Saturday] we played against a team that finished second last season. And again I thought we dominated large parts of the game where we should score. We didn’t and it looked like we could have got beat.

“The lads kept going. Created a few chances at the death. Opened ourselves to a lot of counter-attacks trying to get the point and all credit to the boys for sticking it out.

“We really wanted to get as many attacking players on. You know Arsene Wenger he says when you are looking to win the game get your attacking players on the field as soon as possible.

“And basically we tried to accommodate all of them. Give Happy the wide role where he can get a few crosses in. Get Lebo closer to the strikers. Keagan wide to drive inside.”

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