Kaizer Chiefs’ poor run of form continued when they lost 2-0 to Platinum Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday night.
Solomon Mathe opened the scoring with a powerful header, before Enocent Mkhabela, on-loan from Amakhosi until the end of the campaign, sealed the three points with a bicycle-kick in the first half.
The defeat leaves Steve Komphela’s men in fifth position with 47 points, meaning they have failed in their bid to finish the season in the top three.
Komphela’s charges were on the back foot for the better part of the game, and they never really looked interested in the game even when Dikwena took their foot off the pedal in the second half.
Chiefs looked disjointed in midfield despite the return of Willard Katsande and Siphiwe Tshabalala, but their defensive frailties were exposed very early in the game.
Itumeleng Khune, who was two weeks ago criticized for conceding silly goals, could hardly do anything to prevent Dikwena from scoring, and critics will point to his back four for this defeat.
Erick Mathoho failed to close down Gerald Phiri on the left hand side of Amakhosi’s box, and he allowed the Dikwena midfielder to whip a decent cross into the area for Mathe to head home 22 minutes into the first half.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Lorenzo Gordinho should also shoulder the blame as they were both beaten by the flight of the ball, while Mathe would be applauded for timing his run well, giving Khune no chance in the Amakhosi goal.
It was soon 2-0 to the home side after another defensive blunder by Chiefs.
This time Tsepo Masilela failed to clear the danger after another cross into the box. The left-back trapped the ball inside the six-yard box, but lost the balance in the process, and Mkhabela profited from the error by firing past Khune on the near post.
Chiefs lacked the hunger required to rally and wrestle the game away from the home. In fact, they were nullified in such a way that they never had a shot on target throughout the first period.
Komphela’s half-time talk sparked life into the spiritless players, and they started playing with purpose in the second half.
However, they were not aggressive enough to penetrate the home side’s defence, and didn’t take shots from range to at least force the goalkeeper into saves.
The only time they came close was when Dikwena nearly scored an own as they tried to clear their lines toward the closing stages of the game.
Even Masilela’s attacking prowess from the left hand side of the pitch could hardly inspire Amakhosi to do more in the final third, and Dikwena held for a crucial win.