Khompela’s sigh of relief

STEVE Komphela received some respite from fans baying for his blood and unlike last week did,Picture: Gallo Images

STEVE Komphela received some respite from fans baying for his blood and unlike last week did not need any police escort from the FNB Stadium yesterday.

Still, calls for him to resign from Kaizer Chiefs supporters continued despite a 1-0 vic- tory over struggling Platinum Stars yesterday. Last week at the same venue, Komphela needed the help of the police following an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Chippa United.

But yesterday, he left the venue at least relieved after his side bounced back to winning ways. The victory did nothing to alleviate Chiefs’ more immediate problems, after their elimination from the title race by Mamelodi Sundowns, who defeated Bidvest Wits 2-0 on Saturday. This means they have run out of chances to challenge for the Premier Soccer League, even if they win all their remaining matches.

Hendrick Ekstein scored the only goal of the match early in the second half to give Chiefs all three points and a confidence booster ahead of the Nedbank Cup semifinal against Free State Stars at the weekend. For Platinum Stars though, the defeat was their 14th in 27 matches and this put them more in more trouble as they will need to win all of their remaining fixtures to have any chance of survival in the top flight. They are still at the bottom of the log with 21 points from 27 matches and seven points behind 15th placed Ajax Cape Town.

The first half was a carbon copy of last week’s game against Chippa. The only difference this time was that there were no goals. Perhaps the fact that Chiefs knew their title aspirations were over contributed to their lacklustre performance.

Both teams were guilty of losing the ball easily and looked flat and Dikwena didn’t look like a team trying to survive relegation, doing little to hurt Chiefs and offering no creativity. The halftime pep talk worked well as Chiefs came back a different side and it didn’t take long before they broke the deadlock.

Ekstein connected from a Joseph Molangoane cross on the right flank to tap in home and give his side the lead. They continued to look threatening with Molangoane starting to find space and being a nuisance for the visitors’ defence. However, the scoreline remained at 1-0 until the 90th minute.