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Kaizer Chiefs v ZESCO United

COMMENT: Kaizer Chiefs look very thin without Itumeleng Khune

21:26 GMT 19/01/2019
Itumeleng Khune Willard Katsande Mario Booysen Siyabonga Ngezana of Kaizer Chiefs September 2018
A draw was never going to be enough for Amakhosi against Zesco United, but their goalkeeping department looks very thin without Itumeleng Khune

Kaizer Chiefs crashed out of the Caf Confederation Cup following their 5-2 aggregate defeat at the hands of Zesco United on Saturday night. 

While the Glamour Boys may be bashed for the loss, the truth is that the team look very thin in their goalkeeping department. 

Itumeleng Khune has left a huge void in the Amakhosi defence and it's going to take years to find a long-term replacement for the man who has been their No.1 goalkeeper for over a decade. 

A comedy of errors from their defence coupled with Virgil Vries' lack of communication as well as the inability to make informed decisions in the penalty box made it almost impossible for the Soweto giants to overturn the 3-1 deficit.

Chiefs needed to win by at least two clear goals, but conceding very early in the game was always going to cost them the game. 

Some would say the first leg defeat in Ndola was too heavy for Chiefs, but others had hoped for a different result this time around.

Ernst Middendorp has done tremendously well since his return and Amakhosi are certainly a different team to what they were at the beginning of the season. 

Zesco United have the continental pedigree, and Chiefs needed much more than motivation to qualify for the group stages. 

The aggregate scoreline is flattering, especially looking at the fact that Chiefs were at one stage dominating the game with more 60 percent ball possession. 

Their failure to put the ball into the back of the net is something that's still worrying, but if their defence continues to leak goals the way have, then Middendorp's project is certainly going to take time to yield positive results. 

As things stand, Chiefs need to work on their defence more than their attacking department.

If they don't concede as much as they have in the past week, then chances are that their fans will see progress.

Away to Zesco, Chiefs conceded three goals, before giving away two goals in their 3-2 win over AmaZulu. The loss to Zesco in the return leg means Chiefs have now conceded a whopping seven goals in three games. 

This is something Middendorp and his technical team should look to prevent going forward, especially if they are to win a piece of silverware this season. 

The league title appears to be slipping away from them while the Nedbank Cup is too unpredictable, and therefore they cannot bank on it to salvage what has been a very difficult campaign for the club and its supporters.

Chiefs are reportedly looking for an experienced goalkeeper - the sooner they get their man the better because it looks like Vries, who should be grabbing this opportunity with both hands, is either too relaxed knowing that he will play the next match or he's just not good enough for a big team like Amakhosi.   

Amakhosi fans shouldn't be too disappointed with the team's performance on the night, but rather see it as a learning curve for the majority of players who have never been in the play-off rounds of any continental competitions in the past.