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Battling Kaizer Chiefs remain winless after collapse

Battling Kaizer Chiefs remain winless after collapse

Zimbabwe’s midfielder Khama Billiat, pictured January 2017, and teammate Khotso Malope both scored goals that put the Amakhosi Chiefs in control midway through the second half

Fallen South African giants Kaizer Chiefs remained winless in five Premiership matches this season after surrendering a two-goal lead to be held 2-2 at home by Bloemfontein Celtic Wednesday.

Goals from Zimbabwean Khama Billiat and Khotso Malope for the Amakhosi (Chiefs) put them in control midway through the second half at Soccer City stadium in Soweto.

But Celtic, who came into the match with a perfect three-victory record under former Chiefs coach Steve Komphela, hit back by scoring twice inside three minutes to remain second.

Menzi Masuku halved the deficit on 76 minutes and Ndumiso Mabena equalised with a half-volley that flew past third-choice goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma.

The 23-year-old was given a rare start because of injuries to first choice Itumeleng Khune and Namibia-born reserve Virgil Vries.

Drawing left Chiefs 13th in the 16-club league, eight points behind pacesetters and 2016/2017 champions Wits, who trounced visiting AmaZulu 3-0 in Johannesburg.

Wits have 12 points, Celtic 10, SuperSport United nine and Orlando Pirates seven after five rounds while title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns are seven points adrift with two games in hand.

Italian coach Giovanni Solinas, hired recently to turn round the fortunes of once mighty Chiefs after three trophy-less seasons, admitted the lowly placing was unacceptable.

“That position is no good for a big club like Kaizer Chiefs. The team must improve together.

“We switched off after going two goals ahead and lost concentration. Celtic posed no threat and suddenly they were level.

“I am disappointed because we had the game in our pocket. I need the change the mentality of the players and that is going to take time.”

But time is not on the side of Solinas, a 50-year-old who has spent most of his coaching career in Algeria and not won a major trophy.

Komphela was forced to quit Chiefs this year after three barren seasons when supporters thrashed a Durban stadium following a South African FA Cup semi-final defeat.

Scot Simon Murray scored his first goal since joining Wits from Hibernian to complete a convincing performance against fifth-place AmaZulu.

A couple of other close-season signings, Gift Motupa and Mxolisi Macuphu, also scored for the pacesetters, who have averaged two goals a game in five outings.

SuperSport have recovered well from a poor start and Zimbabwean Evans Rusike netted just before half-time to deliver a 2-1 home win over bottom side Chippa United.

Craig Martin salvaged a 2-2 draw for Cape Town City, coached by 2004 UEFA Champions League winner Benni McCarthy, with a stoppage-time goal at Free State Stars.

Baroka were another team to snatch a late point with Ranga Chivaviro scoring in the final minute to force a 1-1 draw at home against promoted Highlands Park.


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