Last season Amakhosi relied heavily on the aerial threat of Samir Nurkovic, who netted 13 league goals, but this season he’s struggled with injury
Former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siyabonga Nkosi has spoken of Amakhosi’s ability to out-muscle opponents by playing a direct game.
Having struggled in the first half against Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night, the Glamour Boys found themselves 1-0 down at the interval after Thabiso Kutumela’s 15th-minute goal.
But the introduction of Samir Nurkovic after half time changed the game for the Soweto side as they were able to trouble the hosts by going the more direct route on goal.
Overall, although it had been the KZN side who had the better chances, and they could have snatched all three points had they been more clinical – Bongokuhle Hlongwane in particular was guilty of some misses in the first half while Judas Moseamedi struck the woodwork in the second half.
“If you score that second goal, then you can now have a different situation going into the second half because you can now manage the game better,” Nkosi said in his role as a SuperSport TV analyst.
“You expect a reaction from Kaizer Chiefs, a side that can show character when they want to. And the side has the power and strength to trouble you, especially with awkward balls into the box, set-pieces, they will bully you, especially when they introduced Nurkovic,” Nkosi added.
Chiefs fought back in the second half to grab an 88th-minute equaliser when Lebogang Manyama raced into the Maritzburg box to head home a flick-on from Bernard Parker.
There was however controversy in both goals scored on Wednesday night and replays showed that Manyama was off-side at the point when Parker made contact with his head.
“As you can see, when Parker touches it, you can see that Lebo [was offsides]. Where is the assistant referee? I don’t think that he is at the right position to pick that out,” Nkosi said.
“From where we are sitting, it’s a clear offside. The first goal was also a clear off-side,” he added.
The opening goal of the game, scored by Thabiso Kutumela in the 15th minute, was also shown by replays to have been off-side.
Fellow analyst Teko Modise concurred:
“When Nazeer Allie won the ball off Happy Mashiane, he played in [Jose] Meza, and then Meza took that extra touch ahead of the linesman,” the former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates midfielder explained.
“With that extra touch, the linesman is not in a position to see how forward Kutumela is. It’s a clear off-side and it’s very difficult for him to point it [off-sides] out.
“But all in all, both teams benefited so no-one should complain, it was even-Stevens.”