The phrase papering over the cracks comes to mind when looking at Kaizer Chiefs’ come-from-behind 2-2 draw against Black Leopards at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Amakhosi found themselves a goal down after just 11 minutes following a terrible blunder by goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.
And 11 minutes later, the Bafana Bafana keeper was picking the ball out the net again after some more awful defending left him exposed to an Ovidy Karuru header. To rub salt in the wounds, Karuru, who also got the first goal, is a former Chiefs player.
There was at least a semblance of a fight-back in the second half from Amakhosi as goals from Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Khama Billiat at least gave the hosts a point.
But as could be seen by head coach Gavin Hunt’s demeanour in his post-match interview, there was little reason for celebration.
The truth is, Leopards let Chiefs off the hook and there was no hiding the disappointment of their coach, Dylan Kerr, after the final whistle.
Going into the match, Leopards had been struggling for form and were second from bottom on the table - and that they were unlucky not to get maximum points, speaks volumes as to Chiefs’ poor state at present.
The Limpopo side should really have finished off Amakhosi in the first half, but they left the door ajar after Karuru missed two good opportunities to grab his hat-trick. Rodney Ramagalela also had a goal ruled off-side, which was marginal at best and quite possibly the wrong call.
At some stage, the Chiefs defence seemed almost non-existent as a sharper and more innovative Leopards attack left them chasing shadows and penetrated their defence at will.
The Glamour Boys did rally a bit in the second half, and there was a little more effort and intensity to their game, which ultimately resulted in the two goals.
There was certainly an element of good fortune however with both of the hosts’ goals.
The first one came in the 69th minute when Bernard Parker played in Ngcobo, whose shot was initially blocked by Leopards keeper King Ndlovu, only for the ball to rebound back onto the Chiefs midfielder, who stumbled and fell but somehow managed to get the ball into goal while avoiding a hand-ball. Parker's assist was one of the few telling passes by a player in a gold jersey all night long.
Billat’s 86th-minute equaliser was even luckier. A real mixup in the Lidoda Duvha defence ended with Ethan Sampson kicking the ball against teammate Andriamirado Andrianarimanana before the ball deflected goal-wards where goalkeeper Ndlovu palmed it onto the crossbar before it fell kindly for Billiat to tap in.
It would take a very optimistic Chiefs fan to find any true positives from Wednesday's match and it’s clear that all kinds of issues remain: goalkeeping blunders, careless defending, a lack of cohesion and fight in midfield, and no spark or precision upfront.