'I would have pushed Manyama away from penalty' - Kaizer Chiefs' Baxter

Backpagepix

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter insists he would not have let Lebogang Manyama take the penalty in their 2-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday.

Grant Kekana converted Lyle Lakay's pass after just seven minutes. It was the only goal scored in the first half. After the break, Neo Maema picked Namibia international Peter Shalulile in the danger zone and the latter scored the second.

In the 80th minute, Amakhosi were given a chance to pull one back when a penalty was awarded to them after Cole Alexander’s cross struck Rivaldo Coetzee’s arm.

However, Manyama's effort came off the woodwork and the chance to score was lost.

'I would have pushed Lebo away'

"When [the penalty takers] are on the field and they say they don’t want to take it, I’ve got little control where that responsibility goes," Baxter said as quoted by iDiskiTimes.

"I think we must listen to the players and the one that wants to take it, that’s where the responsibility should go.  

"If it was me and I was on the field, if I was one of the players, I would have pushed Lebo away because he’s only just back at his first game from injury and I don’t think it was fair to give him that responsibility if it was me on the field.  

"But Lebo is a character and Lebo gets on the ball and feels ‘I would score this.’"

Stuart Baxter, Kaizer Chiefs, August 2021

Meanwhile, the 68-year-old tactician believes his charges played well despite falling to the Brazilians.

"I have to say we started the game very well. I think the first 20 minutes we dominated the game completely and as you say during that 20 minutes you have to score," Baxter told SuperSport TV.

"Because we did have good chances. And then as a sort of cold shower came with their goal. It was a very poor goal from our side. And it wasn't reflective of the game at all.

Article continues below

"I think we went on the backfoot for 15 minutes and we waited for Sundowns to try and put balls behind our back three and then I think in the last 15 minutes we got the game back in the first half.

"So we go in 1-0 down but I think we've had the better share of the play."

Chiefs have four points from three games while Sundowns are on seven.