Kaizer Chiefs dominated the Caf Champions League Group C match against a physical Horoya AC but had to settle for a goalless draw at FNB Stadium on Tuesday.
Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt put out a retro 4-4-2 formation with a diamond four in the middle of the park with Kearyn Baccus on the right, Willard Katsande in defensive midfield, Bernard Parker on the left and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo in an attacking midfield role to serve twin strikers Leonardo Castro and Samir Nurković.
Chiefs edged the first half. They lifted their tempo and camped in the Guinean visitors’ half in the second, the West Africans abandoning even the counterattack after the break.
In this period Horoya had to concede a number of set pieces, from which Amakhosi’s big strikers threatened but failed to hit the target.
Far side assistant referee Mogomotsi Morakile ruled a number of seemingly marginal offside decisions against the home team, including overruling two Nurkovic finishes. To be fair to the match official from Botswana, he seemed to get the majority right, though crucially a Nurkovic header minutes from the break that beat goalkeeper Moussa Camara seemed incorrectly ruled offside.
Chiefs would have felt they had done enough to secure the three points. Horoya would also have felt they had played a frustrating game effectively enough, while also riding their luck, to deserve a point.
Left-back Reeve Frosler’s cross in the first half found Nurkovic free at the far post, but the Serb was unable to get over the header.
Horoya looked capable of catching Chiefs on the counter and had arguably the best chance of the half when, from a punt upfield, striker Yakhouba Barry got up for the flick-on that found Enoch Agyei and with Itumeleng Khune well off his line the winger attempted a lob that landed just past the left upright.
Four minutes into the second half Chiefs appeared to have pried their breakthrough. A cross from Frosler again found Nurkovic free to nod past Camara but assistant-referee Morakile strangely ruled offside.
Ngcobo’s free-kick from the left channel floated to the right upright where Ngezana headed at Camara, again Morakile raising his flag.
Substitute Njabulo Blom struck an excellent shot in the 86th minute, but Camara made a fine save.
Khune was at full stretch to deny a smash-and-grab saving from striker Mohamed Wonkoye in injury time. Substitute Lebogang Manyama’s free-kick earned a similar stop from Camara.
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