Kaizer Chiefs were on the wrong end of a seven goal thriller against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Free State Stadium on Sunday, but coach Stuart Baxter was upbeat as he looked forward to the resumption of competitive action after the international break.
|Stuart Baxter © Backpagepix
In front of a capacity crowd, the two PSL sides provided a scintillating 90 minutes, a great advert for local football, which ended in Phunya Sele Sele triumphing 4-3 to lift the Macufe Cup.
Matthew Rusike and Tsepo Masilela both made their debuts for the Amakhosi.
Kaizer Motaung Jnr opened the scoring before Jacky Motshegwa netted for Celtic to take the game into 1-1 at the break.
Brent Lawler put the Free State side back in front after the break, before Danny Venter made it 3-1. But two quick goals from Tumi Moshobane and Mathew Rusike levelled the match again.
With 15 minutes to go Celtic sealed victory when Auguston Leonard converted from the spot after a hand-ball by Siyabonga Nkosi.
For Baxter the result was not the most important issue; with several of his regular players away on international duty, the Englishman had the opportunity to gauge the strength of his squad players.
“[We have gained] a lot of information about some of the [fringe] players. We have had the opportunity to look at some of the development players,
“Its been a good workout for the players, obviously we wanted to win so we are disappointed with that,” said Baxter.
With a new-look side out on the park, the Chiefs coach was not overly surprised that there had been some technical issues.
“There are a lot of things all overt the field we will work on. Defending against long balls is one thing. But with so many new players in defence, then if anything there is going to be a little bit haywire it’s the understanding in the back four.
With AmaKhosi topping the league table, Baxter is now looking forward to the resumption of Absa Premiership action, with Telkom Knockout action also on the horizon.
“You can expect us to keep on trying to do the same as we have been doing. We may have a few tactical changes which we will work on, but other than that we will just keep on going.
“I think these long breaks do not do us any good really because players go away and play two national team games, come back, have a break, have a cup game and then we are back to the league, so I would have just preferred to have kept playing.”