JOHANNESBURG Â -Â KAIZER Chiefs CAF Champions 2015 League dream got off to the good start when they were Â won 2 -1 Â against Township Rollers of Botswana at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night.
A goal through Matthew Rusike in the sixth minute sent good signals that Amakhosi were about to make their dreams clear in a competition they never previously taken seriously.
But when the visitors’ Boy Buries slammed home the equaliser into the bottom-right corner with a clinical left foot in the 47th minutes, it was clear how much Chiefs needed to apply themselves if they were to triumph with the second round coming in a fortnight time in Botswana.
With Kingston Nkhatha having left a void in Chiefs’ striking force, Bernard Parker was not helpful as he missed two glaring chances in a space of two minutes to the dismay of his fans in the first half.
By bringing skipper Itumeleng Khune and Rusike into the fray, Chiefs looked like a side ready to dismantle Rollers. But as they fluffed and puffed despite a resounding opening, coach Stuart Baxter should be worried with the league and the Champions League to play for.
Despite bringing in Mandla Masango and George Maluleka for George Lebese and Siphiwe Tshabalala early in the second half, Chiefs failed dismally to take charge of the game.
And when Parker missed a sitter in the 61st minute after a nice interchange play from evergreen Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Baxter got the message that the CAF Champions League is not for the faint-hearted.
But Â Tefo Mashamaite headed the winner goal in the Â 90th minute.
The visitors, who must be commended for their sterling defensive tactics, hoping to kill off the game at home in two weeks, brought in South African born Manqoba Ngwenya to intimidate Chiefs defence marshalled by reliable Erick Mathoho and of course Â Mashamaite.
Following their inspiring goalless draw against Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday to stretch their unbeaten record to 18 league matches, Amakhosi’s 2015 dream is under siege unless they start reproducing their indomitable performances that made them the team to beat.
With a fighting spirit such as they displayed in Johannesburg, Rollers will be confident of a rare win when they meet again in Botswana. -Â Sapa